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TOPIC: ComicRack Alternatives?

ComicRack Alternatives? 2 years 8 months ago #41749

  • Just Bill
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:pinch:

Well, I think Amazon has finally killed ComicRack for me. I lost the ability to sync wirelessly some time ago, but now it seems I just cannot sync at all after the last firmware update for the HD Fire. I just can't root it again because the whole tablet starts behaving badly and it just isn't worth the effort any more for one app.

So... are there any decent alternatives that will run natively in the Android ecosystem? No rooting, no Google Play. Please and thanks in advance.
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ComicRack Alternatives? 2 years 8 months ago #41750

  • StoneRyno
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I can't tell you how many times I have had bad updates happen with android. I'm not sure but it sounds like you may have more problems than just with comicrack if a bad update happened. Bad updates happening to me turned me to using 3rd party builds like cyanogenmod. Then when I decided to go back to the stock android on my new smartphone: what happens the 2nd time I had an update?, the update broke the functionality of it and I had to take it to the store for them to manually flash it with that version. I lost everything because without root you can't even backup data for the important apps you use. How stupid is that for an OS design. They don't even let 3rd parties make apps that can backup the stuff. You have to root for that. But anyways not my point of my post, just adding some back story as to why I have gone the route I went. That being windows for comicrack and never using an app on android that doesn't store or backup my data to somewhere off my device.

You don't need to root, at least I don't think you do, to side load google play if you at least wanted that in addition to amazons version of it. Though I would think that practically everything if not everything in google play is in it. With that said almost 4 years ago my windows netbook broke (hardware failure) and I needed an alternative until I had a suitable alternative to the windows netbook. At that time netbooks were done and windows tablets on their way in. It was about six months before I had that suitable alternative. So during that time I took my hp touchpad and dual booted it with android. To use what, at that time, was considered the two best comic readers for android: "perfect viewer" and "a comic viewer". For some reason some of my comics wouldn't open in one but would in the other. With comicrack on windows my whole collection works just fine. Anyway I'm not sure the state of comic readers for android now. And I'm not sure how good of a replacement these two are. I only used them with about a dozen comics at a time because that was all the room I had on the touchpad to put them.

Some more background that might be of interest. I only use android for about 6 casual games I play during idle moments and for productivity type of stuff. I have used tablets with every OS I'm aware of and didn't really care for the usability except for windows. I have an acer w700p tablet with windows 8.x pro which I use for my comic reading and much more. In fact many things I used my desktop PC for I do with it now and actually prefer to use it for those things most of the time.
Last Edit: 2 years 8 months ago by StoneRyno.
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ComicRack Alternatives? 2 years 8 months ago #41751

  • Just Bill
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I've been using ComicRack on rooted Amazon Fire tablets for a few years now. I had two of the original tablets and rooted them and it worked just fine. Then I updated to the HD 8.9 about two years ago and rooted it, and got Google Play on it just like the other two and it worked just fine as well - for a time. But with each update the tablet became more and more sluggish or downright non-responsive - especially with Google Play apps like ComicRack. It got so bad that about six months ago I finally set it back to factory and this time, instead of rooting it, I just sideloaded ComicRack instead. I lost the ability to sync via the wireless and to get updates, but I figured those were sacrifices I'd have to make to keep the tablet functioning at a higher level.

So I guess a new firmware was installed sometime in the last few months... I tend to sync a few hundred comics at a time and don't bother resyncing until I've read them so I don't know how long it has been down, but now I can't even sync with the USB cable, and hitting the rooting sites and forums, it seems that no one has had any success rooting this particular firmware just yet. (And I really don't think I want to do that again, anyway.)

So I've been looking at ComicRack alternatives, and honestly I'm not seeing much to my liking. After years of ComicRack, I'm just accustomed to it now. So now I'm mulling over a new tablet.

In the short term, I bought the IOS version of ComicRack today and my wife let me load it on her Ipad Air 2, and that should hold me over for a few months until either a solution for the Fire HD comes along or until I get another tablet.
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ComicRack Alternatives? 2 years 8 months ago #41752

  • StoneRyno
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If you're in the market for a new tablet I would consider going windows (not windows RT). Windows 10 will be coming out soon and anyone with windows 7 or 8 is supposed to get 10 for free. Unless of course there is something specific with android that you need another android tablet. I've personally not been happy with android recently. Like your experience the same happens with me, android just falls apart for no reason and you have to reset back to stock. And even then it is sluggish and slow despite a device with quad core CPU and 2GB of ram.
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ComicRack Alternatives? 2 years 8 months ago #41753

  • 600WPMPO
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StoneRyno wrote:
If you're in the market for a new tablet I would consider going windows (not windows RT).
And why not go for an iPad? ;)
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ComicRack Alternatives? 2 years 8 months ago #41755

  • Just Bill
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I'm really enjoying Comicrack on my wife's Ipad Air 2, but I think if I were to buy a new tablet I'd go with a Galaxy Tab S or Pro 12.
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ComicRack Alternatives? 2 years 8 months ago #41757

  • StoneRyno
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I suppose it is a matter of what you want to do with the tablet. The biggest problem I have had with android, iOS, and just about any other mobile OS I've used to date is how they handle (or lack there of) multitasking. Multitasking isn't multitasking if the apps I am using at the same time aren't working in the background. And with a tablet it is something that is conceptually a multitasking device. I should be able to open the browser of my choice choose a page to load switch over to, for example, comicrack read a page or two of the comic and come back and the page is loaded. Instead when you switch to another app they all freeze the state of the previous app. So when you go back to the browser it did nothing and has to start all over with loading that page. Windows truly multitasks and the browser will load that page while as per this example comicrack is in focus and I'm reading that page or two. This is an easy example which wraps up every bad multitasking scenario I encounter with them.

Outside of that going with a windows tablet I assume would eliminate the problem caused by an OS outside of the ecosystem trying to sync with windows. If I'm understanding the problem correctly it would seem to be a symptom of having to root. iOS is locked down worse than android from what I understand. So if there is a need to root android I perceive there would be a need with iOS as well. Something that would be of no concern with windows. Since windows is open to the user doing the stuff you have to root the others to do. And I'm not talking about complex stuff either you have to have root to do the simplest stuff like backup an apps data with a backup app. Or have an app auto reboot the device for you. Or change the CPU governor for better performance or battery savings based on your desired use case at the time.
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ComicRack Alternatives? 2 years 8 months ago #41759

  • startreksteve
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I've never used the ComicRack sync function. I stick around 10 GB of new comics in the cloud then use an Android app called Dropsync which syncs the cloud storage to the Android tablet, as well as downloading new comics from the Cloud, it sends back read comics to the cloud where they are synced back to my Linux PC to be archived to DVD. Works very well.

Steve
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ComicRack Alternatives? 2 years 8 months ago #41762

  • Just Bill
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No, there's no need to root an Ipad in order to use Comicrack. There's no need to root most Android devices either - the only reason it is an issue with the Amazon Kindles is that ComicRack is not available via Amazon. You need access to Google Play, and to get that to load and run on a Fire requires root. On an Ipad it's just an app in the store, you buy it and get down to reading comics. Same with any Android tablet that can access the Google Play store. This is ONLY a problem on an Amazon device.

Like I said, I originally rooted to get Play on there expressly for ComicRack. After a period of slow performance I went back to factory specs and sideloaded the app instead, forgoing the need for Google Play. But since the app somehow used the Google infrastructure to "phone the mothership" to verify your purchased app, I lost the ability to sync wirelessly. It kind of sucked, but breaking out a USB cable once every month or two seemed like a small price to pay to get my tablet functioning properly again. Then this new firmware was released, and ever since then, when I try to sync, ComicRack reports, "Invalid Device."

So yeah, long answer there, to basically say it's just an issue with the Amazon devices and ecosystem.
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ComicRack Alternatives? 2 years 8 months ago #41763

  • Just Bill
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startreksteve wrote:
I've never used the ComicRack sync function. I stick around 10 GB of new comics in the cloud then use an Android app called Dropsync which syncs the cloud storage to the Android tablet, as well as downloading new comics from the Cloud, it sends back read comics to the cloud where they are synced back to my Linux PC to be archived to DVD. Works very well.

Steve

Sounds interesting. Is there a way to use it with a NAS or maybe even just a computer directly instead of involving off-site storage?

And btw, why don't you use the sync functionality? It's quite nice to be able to sync wirelessly and pass your ratings and read percentages back to the main app... that is if that stuff is important to you. I'm currently attempting to get digital copies of my entire collection and read them chronologically so it's incredibly helpful to have this information going back and forth, plus the scraped info, etc.
Last Edit: 2 years 8 months ago by Just Bill.
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