Earlier this week, I submitted the newly rewritten Fresh Comics to the iTunes App Store for Apple's portable devices. This new version features an entirely new user interface and backend and introduces the entirely new feature of issue previews.
Over the next week, I'll be doing a pass over the Android app to bring it back up to feature and performance parity with the iOS app and should have an update in the Google and Amazon app stores by Thanksgiving.
With the two main apps updated, I've been debating whether to start next on the Windows Phone updates or to revisit the website. After some deliberation, the next updates to the Fresh Comics will be to the website, with work on the Windows Phone revisions beginning some time after the New Year.
I wanted to share my plans for Fresh Comic's migration to the new look and feel that will be deployed Apple mobile devices in the next week. For those not paying attention to shifts in the mobile tech realm, Apple drastically overhauled their look and feel with iOS 7 in order to refresh the platform and bring it more in line with modern design principles.
I'm planning on spending a significant amount of time this fall refreshing Fresh Comics to take full advantage of this new design as well as rewriting the app so that it functions as a first-class citizen on tablets. I completed the look-and-feel and tablet migration on the Android platform earlier this year, and it's time for the iOS app to get an update.
A quick update before I get back to coding apps. This weekend, I managed to bring Fresh Comics up to speed with the rest of the comic mediaverse by putting together systems that allow me to catalog much farther into the future than I’ve been doing so for the past couple of years.
I've been a bit quiet on the blogging front since I started doing serious development on the latest iteration of Fresh Comics. I'm happy to report that the Android version has reached the beta testing phase and I've been testing the app with friends and family.
If you'd like to see what it looks like, I've set up a Pinterest board of screenshots.
I want to highlight a few features that make this version of the app different than the one currently shipping...
I don't know about you, but one of the things that I enjoy most reading comics is the sneak peak at the future provided by some very forward-thinking writers and artists. From battle armors to spaceships to robots, comic books have been one my inspirations to get out there and build new things.
I'm posting today to announce that I'm now recruiting beta testers for the next generation of Fresh Comics apps. As I mentioned in my Giant-Size Fresh Comics post, the next couple of months will be busy as I work on the next generation of the app for more mobile devices and tablets.
I wanted to take a break from the new feature announcements to discuss where Fresh Comics is headed over the next year. The applications themselves are getting a bit "long in the tooth" from an aesthetic and functional perspective and I have concrete projects underway to revamp and extend the applications to keep them relevant moving forward.
After the infrastructure upgrade a couple of weeks ago, I've been working hard to expand the Fresh Comics infrastructure in preparation for new features in the apps. This weekend, I spent some time working on creator pages.
Last week, the Django project announced that the 1.5 release candidate was available for testing. For those of you for whom that last sentence was gibberish, Django is the software powering the Fresh Comics empire, and the 1.5 update is the new version of the software I've been awaiting to add some features to both the website and the apps to improve and expand the Fresh Comics experience.
A thorough look at the machine learning and other techniques used to locate and mine upcoming comic shop events for Fresh Comics.
I'm in the process of sending the following note to retailers in the Fresh Comics database.
Dear Local Comic Book Retailer,
As 2012 winds down, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for being the foundation of the modern comic book community and for the time you put in each and every week to help customers like myself continue enjoy our time as comic book fans.
The folks at Comic Book Therapy have a good post up describing the sales result's of Marvel's pseudo-reboot, Marvel NOW! The gist is that Marvel appears to have flipped the tables on DC, regaining eight of the top ten sales positions for the first time after the New 52 relaunch. I want to use this news as an excuse to discuss my reactions to Marvel's new lineup in the new era.
Greetings and welcome to the newest addition to the Fresh Comics empire: The Letters Page. I loosely intend to use this to share the latest news and information with the community, so consider this the official Fresh Comics weblog.
To kick this off, I wanted to share where Fresh Comics is today and where it's headed in the near future. For those of you just joining us, Fresh Comics is a mobile application available on a variety of mobile platforms: Android, iOS (iPhone), and Windows Phone. It also includes screensavers for Mac and Windows desktops as well as a widget for the (now obsolete) Chumby. Since the relaunch of the website this summer, I've been working hard to expand the Fresh Comics web presence and that's resulted in some interesting mapping experiments and I'm just getting my feet wet providing white-label services to comic retailers and news sites by syndicating the weekly release information I compile each weekend. I have a lot of momentum behind Fresh Comics and things are moving along nicely.
In addition to me spouting off about my latest interests in the comic space and what's coming soon with Fresh Comics, I wanted to also provide a space for Fresh Comics users to send requests my way for the app, its data, or anything else that might tickle your fancy. Please leave a comment with this post if there's something you'd like to see in the app or online as well as any complaints you might have.