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How to read CBR/CBZ comics on an iPhone -- for free!

The iPhone's gotten a lot better about PDF support over the years, but comics fans still don't have a perfect way to read files in the CBR and CBZ formats. These formats are both just compressed archives of image files, so you could unzip them and put the JPGs or PNGs onto your phone using iTunes. Keeping them in order is a pain, though, and the Photos app isn't really designed for viewing comics.

I had a few CBRs I wanted to read this week, so I worked out what I think is a pretty quick and convenient way to read iPhone comics. It starts with Dropbox, and a free app called iComic Viewer (there's also a paid version without iAds, but the free version works just fine, and there are no ads while you're actually reading comics).

Step 1 is to upload your comics to your Dropbox. Then, pop open Dropbox on your phone, go to one of the CBR or CBZ files, and click the link icon to copy its URL. Unfortunately, iComic Viewer doesn't show up in Dropbox's "Open With" feature, so you'll just have to paste the URL into iComic yourself. Still, it's much easier than typing the whole thing out.

To download your file to iComic, just open the app, go to download, click URL, and paste the Dropbox link. Voila! Your comic is now available to read on your iPhone. Of course, there are plenty of other -- maybe better! -- paid comics apps in the App Store, and you can use any one of them instead of the free iComic Viewer. Just make sure your app supports downloading your files from a pasted URL.

Tags: cbr, cbz, comics, dropbox, icomic viewer, IcomicViewer, iphone, tips