Recent Amazon acquisition comiXology retires iOS app leaving Apple customers with no way of purchasing comics on their device.
You really have to wonder which genius came up with the idea to retire the old comiXology app so suddenly, especially when the replacement comes with such a massive deficiency. Recently acquired by Amazon it was inevitable that the app would, at some point, move away from the existing Apple storefront. Oddly though, Amazon haven’t actually taken control yet which begs the question, why make the change now and why such a hasty announcement with no advanced warning?
The transition away from using Apple’s purchasing system makes good business sense considering that comiXology now cuts out the fees incurred by using the service. Great news for creators who presumably will now get a bigger slice of the cake as a result? But is it good news? The new app allows users to sync their purchases to be read on their iDevice, but removes the ability to browse or purchase new titles in app meaning that the only way to purchase comics is via comiXology.com rendering the new app essentially a comics reading service. Why is that bad news? Well, it certainly restricts the opportunity for impulse purchases with most users heading to the site with a focussed agenda. From a personal perspective it’s likely that I’ll head online to pick up my regular titles, but there have been many occasions where I’ve been browsing on my iPad and picked an indie title out of curiosity. The whole process has become a lot less instinctive and a whole lot more inconvenient which could have a detrimental effect on owner-creators.
Perhaps in a bid to minimise the inevitably flurry of discontent from iPhone and iPad users, each customer has been given a $5 gift voucher to use against comic purchases online.
No doubt a fix is in the workings for iOS users whilst Android customers enjoy an updated, but otherwise unchanged experience.
iOS users, how do you feel about the change? With last year’s Marvel cock-up in mind is this another huge embarrassment for the online retailer? Let us know.