What's new in CLZ Comics for iOS?
Today we are responding to a request that we have been hearing from many years:
Is there any way I can find which comics I am MISSING for my series
Definitely not an easy feature to implement, because the first question immediately is “what about variants?”. If you own issue 13A, do you regard issue 13B, 13C and 13D as missing or not?
So our UI/US designers AJ and I (Alwin) sat down to design a flexible “Missing Comics” screen that gives you full flexibility to conjure up the missing comics list you are looking for.
Based on our ideas, web-developer Sven created a super-fast search engine on our servers, that can instantly return issue number lists for any series. Still not sure how he made it this fast, but you’ll definitely love the speed of this tool.
Then after that, our mobile developers Pim and Bernard created the new Missing Comics tool that you can now find in the menu of version 6.2. Alternatively, open it from the new “Find missing comics” link under the Have/Want list at the top of your issue list.
Use the pencil icon at the top left to change settings, that is:
- Show or Hide missing variants.
- Switch between a compact list and a verbose list. (the compact view lists missing comics in “ranges”.)
- Order the missing issue lists in Ascending or Descending order.
Use the toggle on the top right to sort the series list alphabetically or by the number of comics that are missing.
New “Find Missing Comics” link in the Collection / Wish List summary panel:
Note: Missing Comics is premium online service, which requires a subscription!
Another big update for your CLZ Comics app, version 6.1!
This time, we added a new Pre-fill screen, that will save you lots of time.
New Pre-fill screen that pops up when adding comics
When adding comics to your app from the Add Comics screen, the app will now pop-up a new screen called “Pre-fill comic details, letting you set various fields right then and there.
Fields available in the Pre-fill screen:
- Grading Company
- Storage Box
- Purchase Date
- Purchase Store
- Purchase Price (or, auto-fill with Cover Price)
No more need to edit your added comics afterwards!
New look and layout of Field Defaults screen
A small cosmetic change to the Field Defaults screen, to give it the same look and feel as the new Edit screens.
Here it is, version 6.0 of the CLZ Comics mobile app!
With this major update, we are responding to two of the most common questions:
- “How can I edit multiple comics in one go?”
- “After updating values, how can I see which comics have been updated?”
But there’s much more!
Here’s the full list of what’s new in version 6.0:
New “Update Values” report
Since we introduced the Update Values from GoCollect feature, one of the most common questions we received at customer support has been:
After I update the values for my comics, is there any way I can see which comics have been updated?
So, after one year of having to say “sorry, no that is not possible”, we figured, let’s make it possible.
And of course, we went way beyond just showing which comics have been updated. As of today, after you run Update Values, you will get a nice “Updated Values” report, showing you:
- which comics have been updated
- their previous values and the new values
- the value change, in green when increased, in red when decreased
- total value changes for the updated comics and for your entire collection
New: Add Comics by Series AND Issue Number
In the Add Comics screen, when searching for a comic “By Series Title”, you are sometimes getting so many series results, that it can be hard to find the exact comic you have in your hands. You may find yourself expanding series after series, to find the issue you need.
But not anymore, as today’s update will make this a lot easier: Just use the new “Add Issue” tab in the Add Comics screen to search by Series title AND Issue number in one go.
E.g. search for “iron man 17” and it will instantly show you a simple flat list of all issues 17 of matching Iron Man series.
Note that the list of matches will automatically be a lot shorter, because the results will only include the series that actually have the issue number you are looking. For example, search for “action comics 214” and it will instantly give you the exact comic you are looking for:
NEW: Edit Multiple Comics in one go!
Finally make changes to multiple (or all) comic entries in one go.
- Tap and hold on a comic in the list to enter Select Mode
- Now tap more comics to select them.
- Tap the menu button on the bottom right and choose “Edit [x] Comics”.
- In the screen that appears, select which fields you want to edit.
(Tips: use the search box to find fields, tap the star icons to set Favorite fields)
- Tap Edit at the top right.
- Now set values, or leave fields gray to clear them.
- Tap Done at the top right to save the changes to the selected comic.
Warning: the Edit Multiple feature is a very useful and powerful feature, but… remember what Uncle Ben said: With great power comes great responsibility!
IMPROVED: Edit Comic screen
A new look for all edit boxes and a more compact layout, making it much easier to edit your comic entries, without scrolling through long lists of fields.
- The cover image is now on its own tab, so the main tab starts with the most important edit fields at the top.
- Fields are now laid out side-by-side, making it easier to edit all fields without endless scrolling.
- More compact look and user interface for all text edit fields.
- More compact display and editing of multi-value pick list fields like Genres and Tags.
- Date fields: enter year, month day manually or use calendar icon to use date setter popup.
NEW: Built-in Crop and Rotate tool for cover images
In the Edit Comic screen the Cover is now on its own tab, with new Crop and Rotate tools for instant rotating and cropping of self-made cover photos or downloaded images.
Folder Field selection screen
Now includes a search box at the top for quickly finding the field you want, plus the ability to create your own Favorites (just tap the star icons).
Version 6.0 is coming up for all five CLZ mobile apps:
CLZ Books, CLZ Music, CLZ Movies, CLZ Comics and CLZ Games (probably in that order).
For “Vee Six” we decided to finally implement THE most commonly requested feature:
Editing Multiple entries in one go! (aka: Batch Editing)
At the same time, v6 will come with completely re-designed Edit screens. Check out some sneak preview screenshot below. More information about app-specific v6 features and improvements will follow later!
Finally: Edit Multiple entries in one go!
This has been the most common feature request for many years: How can I edit (or clear) the Grade/Location/Owner/etc… for many of my database entries in one go?
And in v6, it will finally be possible:
- Just select the entries you want to edit (using tap and hold), and choose Edit from the menu.
- Then select which fields you want to edit (or clear).
- Finally, set the values you want to set and click Done.
(These screenshots have been taken from the iOS edition of CLZ Comics, but the other 9 apps will look very similar):
Edit screen re-design
Also new in v6: completely re-designed Edit screens, to make them clearer, more compact and nicer looking.
No more long lists of fields, one per row. In the new screen, fields are placed side by side where possible, with the Cover on a separate tab. Resulting in a more compact screen, requiring less scrolling. Especially on tablet devices!
Some sneak preview screenshots:
(These screenshots have been taken from the iOS editions of CLZ Books and CLZ Music, but the other 8 apps will look very similar):
As you all know, we have seen no new comic releases in the past 2 months. Luckily, things are slowly starting up again. At Collectorz.com, we took this opportunity to focus on the older comics in our database, especially the 1970 to 2000 era, where barcode recognition by our Core was still “below par”.
And with today’s CLZ Comics update, you can start enjoying the fruits of our labor!
Better barcode search results for older comics (1970 to 2000 era)
- Over 35 thousand extra barcodes are now being recognized.
- Add By Barcode feature now correctly handles multiple comics with the same barcode (quite common in this era) and nicely just presents to you all comics that match your searched barcode, even when spread over multiple series.
- Improved barcode search engine.
In the screenshot below you can see a barcode that is used in 9 issues spread over 3 series. The Add Screen will now show you all possible results we have for that barcode:
Re-designed search results in Add Comics screen
While we were at it, we also re-designed the search result entries for both title and barcode searches:
- Clearer layout of all search result entries.
- Issue numbers are now listed in “badges” on the left, separate from series titles and now change color depending on Collection Status.
Adding Creators and Characters as folder options has been on our ideas list for a long time, but it was never implemented because of performance problems.
After all, on large collections, the list of creators or characters can get HUGE.
But during the past few weeks, our mobile team has been working to improve the performance of the folder lists, including the recently introduced folder list search.
Soo… today we can finally introduce the new folder options.
(BTW: the performance improvements we made will also make your Series folders faster!)
New folder options for Creators and Characters
With this update, we introduced 22 (!) new folder options:
- All Creators (group by all creators, regardless of their “role”)
- Plus: separate folder options for all 20 creator roles:
like Artist, Colorist, Penciller, Cover Artist, Writer, etc…
IMPORTANT: for correct sorting of Creator folders, you need to use Update from Core on all your comics. Here’s how:
- Go to your All Comics list.
- Tap and hold on 1 comic to select it, then choose Select All on the top right.
- Now tap the menu icon on the bottom right, then choose Update from Core.
Redesigned Select Folder Field screen
Through the years, the number of available folder fields has grown enormously, making the Select Folder Field screen a bit “unwieldy”. And with todays addition of 22 more folder options, we *had to* come up with a better solution.
That is why version 5.5 also includes a re-designed Select Folder Field screen, with all folder options nicely grouped under sensible headers, and the most popular options (Series, Publisher, All Creators and Storage Box) instantly accessible at the top (see screenshot above).
Faster Update from Core
The Update from Core feature has become essential in this update, so that you can retrieve the correct sort names for your Creators from Core and get nicely sorted Creator folder list.
However, on large collections the old Update from Core feature was quite slow, as it updated your comics one by one, that is doing separate requests to our server for each and every comic.
So for this 5.5 update, we also complete rewrote the Update from Core feature to do the updates in batches of 100 comics at a time, making it much much faster!
Faster CLZ Cloud syncing!
We have made several structural changes to the CLZ Cloud syncing, making it much much faster than before, especially when syncing large amounts of entries up to the CLZ Cloud or down from the CLZ Cloud.
To enjoy the faster syncing, you need to use the actual Sync with CLZ Cloud screen.
(The Auto-Syncing in the background is also slightly faster now, but if you need to sync many entries up or down, please use the Sync with CLZ Cloud screen.)
New design for Sync with CLZ Cloud screen
While we were at it, we decided to do a quick make-over for the Sync screen, with a new look and layout and a direct link to your CLZ Cloud page online.
Easily add and report comics with “unrecognized barcodes”
In general, our CLZ Core online comic database gives you excellent results on your barcode searches. However, it can always happen that you scan a comic’s barcode and it comes up as “unrecognized”, meaning that the barcode is not listed in our CLZ Core yet.
In today’s update, we have added a new “Unrecognized Barcode” screen, that serves two purposes. It lets you:
- Easily add the comic to your database anyway
- Report the barcode as missing, so that we can add it to our Core ASAP
Just fill in the following fields:
- Issue No and Variant
- Variant Description
- Cover Year and Month
and hit Add to Collection at the bottom.
BTW: please make sure that you scanned the FULL barcode before reporting it as missing!
Let’s work together to get all comic barcodes added to the CLZ Core!
Barcode search now supports multiple results
For older comics (1970 to 1990 era), publishers sometimes re-used barcodes on different issues in the same series. The CLZ Comics app has never supported that situation well, it would just returned ONE of those issue.
However, with more and more barcodes for older comics now being added, we have updated the barcode search engine to fully support this situation. When searching for a barcode that was used for multiple issues, the app will now give you all matching results, for you to choose from.
In this update we introduce a new quick-search for your folders, sorting your folders by the counters, an [All Comics] option at the top of your series list, and more stable cloud syncing through our brand-new dedicated Sync-server.
Quick-search your folders
Grouping in folders is a powerful way to browse and filter your collection. Just group by Series, or Publishers, etc.. tap a folder and the list will give you all comics for the selected Series or Publisher.
However, if your collection spans thousands of comics and hundreds of series, that “tap a folder” part is sometimes easier said than done. It may require lots of scrolling in the folder list.
But not anymore! This version introduces a new search box right above the folder list, that lets you instantly search/filter the folder list as you type! Just typing a few letters is often enough to bring the folder you are looking for into view:
Sort folders by count
By default, the folders are sorted alphabetically. But as of today, there is another option: sort your folders by the counter, that is by the number of comics contained.
Sorting by the counters is a nice way to find the biggest Series in your collection, your most popular Publishers, etc..
Switch between the Alphabetical and By Count sorting using the sort toggle at the top:
For the Series folders we also added a counter on the right hand side so you can see how many issues you have per series!
New “[All Comics]” option
While in Series folders, you now have a new “[All Comics]” option at the top, for a full list of all comics over all series.
Now uses our brand-new CLZ Cloud Sync-server
Previously one big server was handling the Connect website, the CLZ Cloud website AND the CLZ Cloud syncing from the desktop programs and the mobile apps.
But this week we have set up a brand-new dedicated Sync-server to handle just the CLZ Cloud syncing.
In today’s update, CLZ Comics has been updated to sync through this new server, which should result in faster syncing and a more stable syncing experience during high load times (weekends).
- Field Defaults: It wasn’t possible to set the rating field back to zero.
- Manage Pick Lists: Merging list items caused too many sync changes.
Adding comics by barcode is most popular feature of the CLZ Comics app, so let’s see if we can make it even better! Today’s version 5.1 is all about barcode scanner:
Improved scan engine
First, we have improved the scan engine and gave it a larger “scan area”. This should help scan barcodes faster and easier.
Automatic scanning of any barcode type
In previous versions, you had to manually set the scan mode (+0 | +2 | +5), depending on the type of barcode you were scanning. But not anymore!
We have made the scanner much smarter now. Just set it to “Auto” and it will automatically scan every barcode you throw at it. It will automatically pick up extensions, whether 2 digits long or 5 digits long. Super easy, super quick.
BTW: in rare cases, the scanner may “give up” on finding the extension too quickly. E.g. with lower quality cameras or in “less than optimal” lighting conditions. In that case, set the scanner to “EXT” mode, which will force it to find the extension.
- You can now folder group on 4 extra fields:
- Cover Date Year
- Release Date Year
- Read Date Year
- Purchase Date Year
- Rare incident where timeouts occurred during CLZ Cloud sync.
- Main list cells now show release date instead of cover date.
Instead of working on new features, we decided to take a few weeks to look at existing screens and functionality and see where things could be improved, of course all based on your feedback.
Today’s update brings you new iOS 13 style “sheet” screens and a batch of user interface improvements we implemented (more coming up!):
Last week, we released CLZ Comics 5.0, of which the most popular new feature was the new automatic comic values tool.
After the release, we immediately started getting questions from many users “Okay, I see the values now, but where can I see the TOTAL value of my collection”?
Of course, we were way ahead of you! Planned for inclusion in the v5.0 release was a cool new Statistics screen, with charts, totals, everything. Sadly, we had to skip this feature because of time constraints, as we really wanted to make our planned v5 deadline.
However, 10 days later, the Stats screen has been finished now, waiting for you in version 5.0.4!
New Statistics screen
A cool “infographic” style screen showing totals and statistics about your comic collection. Find your biggest series, your most recent purchases, your most valuable comics, the value by series and of course, the total value of your collection.
- Purchase store could display twice in the details template
It’s finally here, CLZ Comics 5.0. Here’s what’s new in v5:
- CLZ Comics is now a subscription app
Of course, all existing users have been “grandfathered” into a life-time app unlock.
- Automatic “slabbed & graded” values from GoCollect
Find the most valuable comics in your collection (premium online service, so requires a subscription).
- Lots of new data fields
Grade, Grading Company, Grader Notes, Slabbed vs Raw, Signed By, Is Key Comic, Key Reason, Plot, Nr of Pages, Genres, Country and Language.
- Now supports and syncs multiple collections
Create and sync multiple “sub collections” within your database.
- Automatic cloud-syncing of your own “custom” images
No more need to manually force “Upload Image to CLZ Cloud”.
- Many tweaks to the menu and overall UI
Logo in top bar, clearer Edit/Remove buttons, new Maintenance sub-menu, etc..
- The resizable panels in the add screen now have the same design as the ones in the main screen.
- iPad: Wrong initial panel layout in the main screen when the app is started in landscape mode.
A useful update of your app today, that is, if you are using the app on an iPad:
All panels in the main screen (folders, list and details) are now resizable using draggable separators between the panels, so that you can customize the layout to your own liking.
New: Redesigned app icon
We designed new icons that give new users a better indication of what the app actually does (as opposed to just a different color CLZ logo), but still obviously belong together, when shown together.
- List did not scroll to top when the status bar was tapped
- App could crash on startup in rare cases
Some changes in 4.11.3 for you:
- The buttons to switch folders, sorting and view options have been moved to more logical places to make them more accessible.
- The skins and templates options have been moved to the settings screen.
- The selection mode button has been removed, just tap and hold on an item to start selecting items.
By popular demand, we have added 7 more editable fields to CLZ Comics. These fields were already available as automatic Core fields but are now fully editable:
Fields that are now fully editable:
- Story Arc
- Cover Price
- Release Date
But wait, that’s not all: All the above fields now also sync to and from the CLZ Cloud!
Note: Because of the new fields the app needs to perform a database optimization. If you have a very big database (over 10.000 items) and/or a slower device, this optimization can take a while to complete. If you’re having troubles with this, please contact us for a solution.
Secure HTTPS connections, for your security and privacy
As indicated in our recent GDPR email, we are updating our software and services, to be more secure and to better protect your privacy.
Starting with version 4.11 CLZ Comics now uses secure HTTPS connections for all communications with our servers:
- for logging in with your username and password
- for syncing your data with CLZ Cloud
- for sending your searches to Core.
To make this possible, we have created new secure “entry points” on our servers, that are only allowing secure HTTPS connections. The new CLZ Movies app only communicates with those secure entry points.
For your privacy and security, we strongly recommend updating your app to v4.11.
- Last update made some settings disappear in the settings screen. They are back now.
- Added bottom margin to the add auto screen on iPhone X to make the add button more reachable
- The sync screen wasn’t logging local deletes.
New for the Add Comics screen:
- Add button is now bigger and easier to spot (some new users missed the little round “+”).
- Add button now “remembers” your collection vs. wish list selection. No need to pick from the Collection/Wish List popup menu every time you add anymore.
- Adding a comic would clear the collection status filter in the main screen.
- The sorting option screen would sometimes not fully show the chosen sort option when opened.
- iPad: Main screen: the details view did not refresh after changing the details template.
- iPad: Main screen: the ‘edit my rating’ pop up was rotated when in landscape mode.
We’ve added new fields to sort on to change the order in which your comic issues are displayed in your list. Your issue list will adapt to sort and show the field you’re sorting on. On top of that we’ve redesigned the Select Sort Order screen to make it more clear what you’re choosing.
Open the Select Sort Order screen by tapping the menu top right, then tap “Sort order”.
All available sort fields:
- Series A-Z, then issue
- Series Z-A , then issue
- Cover Date
- Release Date (New!)
- Order of Entry (New!)
- Read Date (New!)
- My Rating (New!)
- Purchase Date (New!)
- Purchase Price (New!)
- Current Value (New!)
- Quantity (New!)
All fields can be sorted either ascending or descending. Tap the field you wish to sort on, then tap “Apply” to confirm.
Quick Search: Search-As-You-Type suggestions
Instantly find and select a particular series in your local database:
- In the Quick Search box, just start typing the first few letters of series title you are looking for.
- While typing, a drop-down list will appear, showing the first five matching series.
(for most series, it only takes 2 or 3 letters before it shows up.)
- Once you see the series you were looking for, tap it to bring it up in the list
- TIP: Tap the search button on the keyboard or tap “View All Results” to perform the normal search.
Quick Search now searches more fields
Now also searches in:
- Series Group
Full list of fields that are now searched:
- Series Title
- Issue Title
- Credit Name
- Character Name
- Series Group
- Faster loading of details screen.
- Crash within a few seconds of opening the app.
- Crash when pressing ‘Change account info’ in the sync screen.
A new v4.8.1 update for your app is available now, with:
Automatic CLZ Cloud syncing
Add or edit comics and your changes will auto-upload to the CLZ Cloud instantly.
Made changes on the desktop or Connect side? Just start the app and changes will download automatically.
Note: Auto-Syncing is switched OFF by default. Switch it ON in the “Sync with CLZ Cloud” screen.
The CLZ Cloud syncing will let you:
- Sync your data between devices, e.g. between your phone and your tablet. Or from your old phone to your new phone.
- View your database online using the free CLZ Cloud viewer website.
- Make an online backup of your data. Better safe than sorry!
- Added ‘None’ entries to list of folders: The [None] folder groups the books you have not set the field for on which you’re currently folder grouping.
- “Read It” folder option: Group your comics into Read it “Yes” or “No” folders to quickly find your unread comics!
- Search cleared when the X button was pushed in the search bar of the main screen.
In today’s update for the CLZ Comics app, we have made further tweaks to the Add screen, to make it clearer and (hopefully) more stable than previous versions:
- Slightly smaller font for the series name, so that longer titles fit better.
- Clearer result entries for Add By Barcode searches, especially in cases of multiple results.
- Color high-lighting: Comics already ‘on wish list’ now have an orange title, comics already “in collection” show up with a blue title.
- Improved scroll behaviour.
Fixes in this update:
- Some covers (Preview art) weren’t showing in the main screen thumbnail view
- Series have/want header in main list was cut off in certain situations
- Full screen cover scroller on iPhone/iPod devices was not properly updating its title bar
- Optimized layout of main screen on 10.5 and 12.9 inch iPads
- Optimized the performance of the main screen thumbnail view
- Fresh placeholder cover images