Reading manga has been a favorite past time for me recently. However, it’s hard to bring a book that adds to the weight of my bag every day. So, with my mobile devices, I’ve stumbled upon MangaRock.
MangaRock is a manga reading app for licensed and unlicensed Manga. It offers a smooth reading experience. Clean User interface and best of all it’s free (with ads). They do offer a one-time price of $5.99 to purchase the app and be AD-free, with unlimited downloads of your selected titles.
You can favorite mangas, and get updates as to when a new chapter has been added to the series once you’ve favorited them. The Manga scans are clean, detailed and can easily be zoomed-in if the text is a bit difficult to read.
There’s the included option of changing the way you read your Manga. You can have it organized from Right-to-Left, Left-to-Right reading or Horizontally and Vertically as if you were reading a webtoon, which the app also allows you to read. Each mode is optimized for the best viewing experience. There has been no difficulty in interacting with the various views.
Ads are somewhat unobtrusive, you get an Ad once a chapter ends or every few pages or so and at the bottom of the reader window. The Ads seem to appear randomly and while they aren’t in the way of you reading. You can accidentally click one of them and it will disrupt you.
Also, some ads are clicked-on pop-ups. Meaning they force you to leave the app entirely which is extremely frustrating. It draws away from the experience completely.
One very much loved feature for me is the ability to discover(in the “discover” tab) new Manga that may be of interest to me. It’s designed in a way that feels “Netflix-y.” You’ll find yourself using this discover tab more frequently than you think.
Arranged within the tab are things like, newly added manga; author highlights; popular this week; recommended for you, etc.
On IOS you’ll see more unlicensed manga present within the Discover tab. This is largely in part due to App policy limitations and guidelines from Apple. You can download Manga from other sources, such as KissManga and more.
On Android, MangaRock has a definitive version of their app which includes Manga that are licensed and can be acquired through various third-party sources.
You’ll have to download the definitive version of their app outside of the Google Play store as an APK via their website. Be warned, however, make sure you know that you are downloading the correct app from the correct website to avoid security issues.
One thing I enjoyed very much, was the inclusion of creating backups of my entire collection of favorited manga, and my account information. In my experience, it was a breeze to quickly create a backup and restore it. Unfortunately, the drawback is that you can only make 5 per account and cannot upgrade up at the time of writing this. Backup data is saved via your account so you only need to remember your email and password to get back on track.
If you’re a texter, MangaRock offers unique stickers that are both cute and fun. You need a currency called “Rocks” which are specific to the app. You can earn them by purchasing them, acquiring them for free looking at Ads when clicking on the present box on top, spinning a wheel or inviting friends.
An issue I had with the app is with continuity. I was not able to continue my reading experience through my favorited manga tab when I was reading a Manga on my Android device, coming from an IOS device. It was annoying that I had to remember where I left off or go to the “Recent” tab
The “Recent” tab has the ability to continue reading a Manga from another device, but it seems like syncing between devices is a bit misleading in where you can continue your Manga. You have to select from the subtitle “Other Devices” to actually continue where you left off. It’s confusing when you want only to select the manga and expect it to sync as one. No matter the device.
Searching for a genre within the app is very easy to do. You hit the magnifying glass icon on the top right and search within a specific tab. For example, if you are on the explore tab, you will be searching for the entire library of Manga. With genres listed below the search. Anywhere else, you’ll be searching for the data that pertains to the tab you are in.
It works great, you can pair genres and other filter options. Search for completed Mangas, ongoing or all.
Overall, MangaRock is a great app. It’s an excellent solution for digitizing a Manga library. It feels really “fleshed-out” and continues to be supported by its developers. The community seems fairly active and you can read a library of over 3000 Manga. It offers a great viewing experience and works across devices(partially).