Google Play Books Launches Comics-Focused Upgrade

Google Play Comics

Google Play Books today rolled out a service upgrade which will benefit a great deal of readers -- but the comic book audience in particular.

The upgrade is comprised of two major pieces designed with comics in mind -- one that impacts the quality of the reading experience itself and another aimed at helping to keep your digital library organized.

New features rolling out today on Android and available soon on iOS include a new, vertical scrolling experience in landscape mode designed to make following a comic book story easier; and curated series pages for the top comic books to make browsing and finding easier. Between hundreds of issues and numerous recent relaunches, it's never been more difficult to keep track of a character's journey, so depending on exactly how well the Series page works, it could be a godsend for comics readers.

"Reading a comic book is all about following the story and enjoying the art, dialogue and pace the way you want," wrote Greg Hartrell, Senior Product Manager, Google Play Books. "But navigating a comic can be tricky on a small phone or tablet screen. So, we’re introducing a new vertical scrolling experience for comics in landscape mode. Flip your device on its side and you can easily scroll through the story with quick vertical swipes."

Google Play titles from all the major U.S. publishers, including DC Comics, Marvel, Image, IDW and Dark Horse. The official press release in particular calls out The Walking Dead, Justice League, Deadpool and Mortal Kombat. If you've been buying exclusively through ComiXology, Dark Horse's branded app or someplace else for a while and don't have a comics library to work through, Google is offering a handful of new comics this week, including issues of The X-Files, Lazarus, and Jem and the Holograms.

The new features will roll out to Android users in the next few days (with iOS soon to follow) in the United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, India, Singapore, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa.