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If you've spent any significant amount of time online, then no doubt you've run across rage comics. Short, user created panel comic strips with a select group of memebased images such as Me Gusta, the Y U NO Guy, and Forever Alone. Finding these can be easy; walking away from them can be hard. So what's a derp or herp to do when on le iPhone?
Pulling from Reddit, the single biggest source of rage online, developer Alberto Garcia Hierro's Rage Comics seeks to take the rage out of viewing these comics on your iPhone. Using merely mobile Safari to access the comics was a painful process of pinching to zoom, scrolling around, or looking at the tiny print and giving it the old Challenge Accepted face. No more.
A flick takes you everywhere
When you load the app you are presented with a menu style list of Featured comics. Tap a comic to open it then slide your finger across to navigate through the individual panels. Turn your iPhone on its side to get an even better view. Best of all, the app is a universal so you can enjoy your comics in even larger view on the iPad where the screen is given its daily dose.
A simple list and you're good
A button in the top of the screen for each comic allows you to view the whole comic in its entirety (sometimes panel cut offs bleed into others or a vertical read can be challenging). This option is most useful when reading on an iPad, while on the iPhone you're returned to how rage comics looked in the old pre-app days. This button also gives you the opportunity to save the image offline for later in your camera roll, to add it to your favorited comics, and to share the comic on Facebook, Twitter, or by email.
Sharing and saving, like a boss
Across the bottom of the app run categorical navigation buttons. Featured, the home page of the app brings up a curated list of goodies, while Most Recent keeps up to the minute tabs on the latest rages. Top rated is a user specific group of comics voted on by the Redditors. Settings lets you opt to open in individual panels or as full comic (Oh God Why?).
Favorites allows you to save the comics you love best for reading later offline. And that's the only rub of the app. It loads up quickly when you start the app, but only because it's loading a thumbnail and a link. Each time you tap a comic, it has to use the link to go out to the internet and grab the goodness. So if you're traveling somewhere without 3G or you're rolling a WiFi only iOS device, the only thing available to you is your Favorites.
Developer theM Dev avoids this trap with the free (with in app upgrade to allow saving) Box of Rage. Instead of requiring a constant internet connection, fire up Box of Rage when you do have web access, and the app downloads thousands of comics. Now these are available on your device for reading whenever you wish.
Make a meme, share a meme
The app opens on the home page which sports several buttons. Browse all takes you to the comics. Update downloads the latest ones. Favorites is your list of best comics you've read, while Reset will delete that list back to empty freshness. There are also buttons to see other apps by the developers and to submit any rage comics of your own creation by email to the developers for possible inclusion in the app.
Customer I am disappoint.
Tap browse all to be taken to the comics. You're automatically taken to the most recent. Flick your finger across the screen to navigate, or tap once in the center of the comic for all the navigation type buttons. And there are many buttons when you do that.
I see what you did there
A small boxed question mark randomly pulls a comic, a single arrow goes to the next or back one, a double arrow goes to the next by ten, and an arrow with a line goes to the end or beginning. On the top of the screen, a house takes you back to the home page, a thumbs up puts the comic in your favorites, a disc saves it to your camera roll, envelope mails it and there are two buttons for Twitter and Facebook respectively.
The biggest problem with the app is the comics themselves. You are presented with one full comic on your screen, exactly the Reddit problem you came to an app to escape. Worse still, double tapping on the comic doesn't expand it to a size consistent with your screen but instead blows the comic up until you have to pinch zoom it back down to even read one panel.
Both apps have one strength that the other lacks, but we find ourselves not too frequently disconnected from the internet (YMMV), so we give it up for Rage Comics. The breaking down of comics into their constituent panels is what makes the app so worthwhile. We're not big fans of pinching to zoom and scrolling around when we read and Rage Comics solves that problem for us with style. It's a smaller matter of coding for developer Hierro to throw in offline reading than for Box of Rage to give us an easier reading experience. Plus the app's layout was far easier to navigate and a much cleaner experience all around.