Desktop, mobile and now web app comics distributor, Graphic.Ly have released their first version of their web app for Beta testing and I managed to get a look in!
The online site is made for Google Chrome, which suits me fine (although Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer should be fine too) and seems pretty slick.
The site gives you options to search for comics by name and by publisher. There is a search box which works well or a drop down menu, which allows you to select publishers, features or free comics to read.
The ‘app’ isn’t directly linked to the main site yet, so you can’t add you reviews and other comments about the comics you read yet, but I assume that Graphic.Ly will add this in when the site becomes official. This is a key part of their marketing – the community feel – and would be amiss of them to leave it out.
The reading experience is smooth – when you open full screen, it opens a new tab, which you can close to go back to the home page. When reading you can either choose to read it page by page – as you would a normal comic or by Guided View, which allows you to view panel by panel.
One thing that could be added is the payment method – the mobile apps have the advantage as they are connected to iTunes, whereas here you have to enter card details – maybe PayPal is a better idea?
In all this seems like a welcome addition and competition to the online comics market.