There are times when I test a new app despite having one that works extremely well. I use Manga MF and have found it quite useful for reading unlicensed manga straight from Japan. If I'm looking for something new to read I simply browse through the massive library and download the first dozen or so chapters to take with me. If I like what I read, I keep moving. If I don't, I delete, regret and forget. So why oh why did I give Manga Meow a go?
Price: Free to try - $4 Full version
Compatibility: iPad and iPhone
It's that app icon. It must be. It beats Manga MF out the water since that thing is ugly as sin. Bright orange or brown with nothing to look at inside. I don't think it's retina ready either. Inexcusable. So that adorable looking cat along with the soft blue has drawn me in. Even the interface looks better than Manga MF. 'I found me a winner' I thought to myself and jumped up with joy. So what does Manga Meow do right?
It has a bookshelf, which I love. Not everyone loves skeumorphic design and I'm one of the haters but virtual bookshelves are the exception of the rule for me. Pages turn from right to left, a standard feature but not that widely available surprisingly. And the main feature that brought me to Manga Meow, support for Manga Fox AND Mangareader.net with the promise for more sources to come. There are some manga that aren't available on just Manga Fox which Manga MF is limited to.
Cool, more manga selection and a better interface? So I should switch over right away! Wrong! Don't! Stop! I began adding manga I was following into Manga Meow and beginning the migration from one app to the other and noticed one glaring, oversight. There's no refresh button or gesture for my collection. In Manga MF all I have to do is press refresh and it checks for new chapters for manga I'm following. In Manga Meow I found it eventually. You have to go into each and every manga franchise, and pull to refresh. Now that's a load of shit. I don't follow a whopping lot, it caps at 15 but I don't want to go into each and every one of them to swipe and see if there are updates.
If that wasn't bad enough, refreshing doesn't even work. I refreshed one, after a week or two, nothing was changing. So I pressed the globe icon and it opened safari browser into the source page where I found there were two new chapters uploaded. I then proceeded to read them... in Safari... Why do I need this app if it'll just send me to the website where I can read it anyway?
Beyond that, the app menus are confusing, the bookshelf out of place, and the interface confused by itself when the text appears sideways on many, many occasions. For a whopping $4, this app certainly is broken, sad and not worth the money unless it goes back to the drawing board and returns with a version 2.0.