The Android release has been met with entirely positive responses, as it has added a much-needed cart feature along with the standard litany of patch changes. However, this only makes the iOS half of the release all the more startling, as the previously available store section of the app has been removed. Purchasing titles and browsing the store for new releases or on-sale content will have to use the ComiXology web store from now on.
Additionally, Apple users were prompted to download an entirely new ComiXology app, which means that any currently-downloaded titles will need to be downloaded again onto the new app, as the comics are tied to the application itself and deleting the current app will also delete all associated titles. For the moment, previously downloaded titles remain available in the old app, but for how long remains to be seen.
The overall reaction to the iOS changes have been largely negative. Many social media users have voiced their complaints with the loss of purchasing convenience and the fact that iTunes cards can no longer be used as valid payment for comics. The few supporters of the change have cited Apple's history of comics censorship, the large cut they take from all in-app purchases, and the fact that having to use the site for purchases is likely to save users money because it limits impulse buys.
The changes to ComiXology appear to be yet another extension of the ongoing feud between Apple and Amazon. This change makes the ComiXology app, which was recently acquired by Amazon, consistent with the company’s iOS Kindle app, which also requires purchases through the web store that must then be synced with the app.
Their animosity stems from Amazon's lawsuit against Apple and the Big Five publishing companies, where it was ruled that Apple and the publishers were unfairly fixing prices for books via a new pricing model. Due to this legal battle, along with Amazon's increasing forays into Apple's gadget space via products like Kindle and Amazon Fire TV, Amazon has established a strict “no profits for Apple” policy on all services, which no doubt played a hand in the rapid removal of services. The company has previously sparked controversy of its own when it removed copies of 1984 from users' Kindles due to copyright claims.
In spite of the inconvenience to iOS users, this move could be seen as a positive in the long run. As previously stated, Apple has courted controversy before due to its censorship policies, which many have called unnecessary and inconsistent. Additionally, Apple takes a more-than-significant thirty percent cut from all sales. Removing that could free up more money for creators, which would be a huge boost to independent artists and writers. However, there is no guarantee that Amazon will share this additional revenue with creators.
Amazon is fighting to stay in the good graces of Apple users by providing a $5 credit to all users as part of the transition, but that alone is unlikely to sway many. Only time will tell how comics fans feel once the dust settles. In the mean time, let us know what you think in the comments below!