App Highlights: xkcdViewer

By Sunday, February 1, 2015 0 , , Permalink 1

xkcdViewer is an app that does one simple thing – viewing xkcd comics.

App Highlights is a recurring series. From time to time, I highlight one Android app that I found useful. Feel free to suggest apps for me to highlight, but be advised that I focus on apps that I actually use.

xkcdViewer is a single-purpose app – just read xkcd comics

xkcd is a great webcomics, by Randall Munroe. I’m not really into comics or webcomics in general. Randall’s xkcd is the only comics I follow regularly. It’s always clever, witty, and funny.

If you’re not familiar with xkcd, you definitely should go check it out. You can expect the usual format of a short comics, with something extra in the alt-text of the image (the text in the tooltip when you hover the image).

I usually prefer using the web-version over an app, so why use an app for something that is so simple? Well, have you ever tried getting to the alt-text in a mobile browser..? The xkcdViewer makes it easy – just tap the image to get the alt-text!

The features of the app include:

  • Read xkcd comics and tap to view the alt-text.
  • Star favorites to read later.
  • Share straight from the app.
  • Get linked straight to explain xkcd wiki.
  • Search by title.
  • Reopen most recent comics, or last read.
  • Zooming or disable zoom buttons.

That’s it. No bells and whistles. No grand redesigns for every Android version. Just read xkcd comics!

A notably missing feature is push notifications for new comics. This was a major drawback for me, until Pushbullet launched the channels feature. Now I get Pushbullet push notifications for new xkcd episodes, and open them in the xkcdViewer app.

It worths noting that I didn’t get a consistent experience when trying to open xkcd links from the notification with xkcdViewer. Sometimes it opened OK, and sometimes it redirected to a browser. According to the developer, it should work fine now, by I haven’t tried recently enough to attest to that.

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