New! Bluefire Reader for Windows PCs

We are delighted to announce Bluefire Reader for Windows PCs, the newest addition to our family of Bluefire reading apps.

Our new Windows app features the clean, elegant design that we first introduced in our iOS 7 update. Dennis (our awesome designer) and Nelson (our amazing Windows developer) have crafted the best reading experience you’ll find on the Windows PC platform.

Reading View

We’ve minimized distractions so that your focus is on the text

Bluefire Reader for Windows is ready for white labeling. The app includes flexible visual branding options and support for up to two customizable embedded web views. Integrate your store and user bookshelf and your customers will have a seamless download experience that eliminates the need to manually manage .ascm files.

Sample branded app

Your branding flows throughout the app

We’ve also included support for our newly launched Page Sync and Analytics cloud services. The Sync service ensures that your customers can easily move between their branded Windows app and their branded mobile apps without losing track of their current page. Our Analytics service gives you essential insights into how your apps are being used and how your most popular titles are performing.

We’ve even developed our own application update service for Windows. The service makes it easy for white label licensees to keep their customers up to date with the latest version of their branded app.

Bluefire Reader for Windows supports PCs running Windows 7 and Windows 8. (Please visit the download page for full system requirements.)

Click here to open the Bluefire Reader for Windows download page.

We look forward to your feedback!

- Cilff

Just Released: Bluefire Reader for iOS, Version 2.1

Bluefire Reader for iOS just got even better! New in Version 2.1:

  • Dropbox integration – Download books stored in your Dropbox account without leaving Bluefire Reader! Just tap “Library” in the top nav bar and choose “Dropbox” from from the menu. Login to your Dropbox account and browse all of your available EPUB, PDF, and ACSM files. Tap to download the files you want to add to your library on your device.

New: Dropbox integration

  • Integration of the Open Dyslexic font set, created to help readers with Dyslexia.
  • Updated themes, including support for sepia mode for PDF files.
  • Integration of RMSDK 10 and the latest OpenSSL library code.

We hope you like it! Please remember to update your reviews. We appreciate your support.

- Cliff

It’s Time to Sync!

Over the past few months we’ve been testing our new Sync services in Bluefire Reader. We’re pleased to announce that these new added-value services are now available to our white-label customers.

Our Page Location Sync service helps our white-label customers make their branded apps more competitive with the addition of one of our most requested user features. Page Location Sync makes it easy for readers to move from device to device and pick up right where they left off. The service works on both our iOS and Android white-label app platforms.

Bluefire’s new Analytics Service gives our white-label customers everything they need to start collecting and analyzing the key metrics that can help them develop a better understanding of how their apps are being used and what books are being read by their customers. The service includes an update of their apps that enables data tracking and collection. It also includes a personalized reporting site that they can access on demand to review and share their reports.

Sample Report: Reading Time per Day

Sample Report: Reading Time Per Day

With our new Analytics service our white-label customers can

  • Track their unique daily users to learn how and when your branded apps are being used;
  • Monitor the devices and form factors their customers are using to make more informed decisions about your mobile web design marketing strategy;
  • Monitor trending titles to measure the impact of marketing campaigns and price promotions.

Bluefire’s Sync and Analytics Services respect and protect privacy. Analytic data is aggregated and reported anonymously.

Interested in learning more? Contact us!

- Cliff

Visit Us at the IDPF Digital Book Conference

Attending the IDPF Digital Book Conference on May 28th and 29th in New York? Come see us in the exhibit area in the main hall on Wednesday the 28th.

We are available for appointments on Thursday, May 29th and Friday, May 30th. Contact us to setup a time.

We are also speaking at the conference. Micah and his fellow panelists will talking about what it really takes for publishers to sell direct. Join Micah, Doug Lessing (Firebrand Technologies) and Kristen McLean (Bookigee) on Thursday, from 11:50 AM to 12:35 PM in room 1E08.

See you New York!

- Cliff

Entitle’s Nicely Executed Embedded Web View

Jason recently published a post on Auxiliary Tabs—secondary embedded web views that you can use for integrating blogs, book recommendations and more into your white-label apps. His post reminded me that I’d been meaning to write about a particularly well executed example a white-label embedded web view: Entitle.

Many of you may have already heard about Entitle—they are one of the leaders in the hot subscription service space. Entitle’s approach is closer to the traditional book club model than it is to “all you can eat” services like Scribd and Oyster. That said, Entitle customers get to keep their ebooks; Oyster and Scribd users don’t. Entitle customers choose a monthly plan that entitles them to download two books a month for $9.99 or three books a month for $14.99.

Here’s a screen shot of the “home page” embedded web view in their iOS app:

Entitle's "Home page" embedded Web view

Subscribers can see the books they’ve already added to their collection (“Latest Cloud Books”), their wish list of books they’ve tagged, but not yet downloaded (“View Your Queued Books”) and Entitle’s recommendations of books they might be interested in (“We Think You’ll Love”). As you can see, they’ve done a great job of creating a visually rich user experience.

Another nice feature of their implemenation is the ability to sample content. The screen shot below shows the “more information” view for a currently selected title.

Entitle More Information View

Again they’ve used the opportunity to promote related titles that might be of interest to the subscriber. When you click on the Sample icon you see the following:

Entitle's web based Sample browser

It’s a preview of the book delivered through the same embedded web view.

Nicely done Entitle!

- Cliff

Bluefire Elected to the Board of the Readium Foundation

The Readium Foundation has just announced the results of its first board election and we are delighted to share the news that Micah Bowers (CEO of Bluefire) has been elected as a founding board member! The other new board members include:

  • Pierre Danet - Hachette Livre
  • Jim Dovey – Independent
  • James English – New York Public Library
  • Bente Franck-Saetervoll – Bokbasen
  • Hadrien Gardeur – Feedbooks
  • Bill McCoy – IDPF

Congratulations to all—and thanks for your commitment to making the Readium Foundation a success!

To learn more about the Readium Foundation, please visit Readium.org.

To learn more about Bluefire’s support for the Readium ePUB 3 Native Code project click here.

- Cliff

Winter 2014 Update

We’ve closed the book on 2013, which means that it’s time for our annual recap post and update on our plans for the year ahead.

2013 Recap

Bluefire’s 2013 is best summed up by one word: Investment. We completely rewrote our iOS app. We continued to enhance our Android app and began our Android redesign. We launched our Cloud Services platform. We made significant progress on our Windows app and on the integration of ePUB 3 into our application platform. Whew!

iOS

Bluefire Reader was completely redesigned for iOS 7. The new app fully integrates the design conventions and underlying technologies of iOS 7, making Bluefire Reader for iOS cleaner, faster and easier to use than ever.

We also added a number of new features to the app in 2013, including:

  • Library Search (by Title, Author, Publisher and file type)
  • A streamlined Collections workflow
  • Cover View for iPhone and iPod touch
  • Our enhanced image viewer that makes it easy to zoom in on, print and share embedded images in ePUB books (as publisher permissions allow)
  • Improved management of loaned library books
  • A “Back” button for easier navigation back from footnotes and other internal links
  • Support for our Page Location and Core Analytics Cloud Services

Android

We added several new features to our Android app in 2013 and early 2014, including:

  • Our enhanced image viewer that makes it easy to zoom in on, print and share embedded images in ePUB books (as publisher permissions allow)
  • Improved management of loaned library books
  • Support for our Page Location and Core Analytics Cloud Services

We also began our Android redesign and rewrite. Our new Android app will conform to the latest Android design guidelines and will deliver improved stability and performance.

Cloud Services

We are proud to report that we’ve released our Page Location and Core Analytics cloud services. These two services are the first pillars in our Cloud Services platform. The latest versions of Bluefire Reader for iOS and Android support the services. We are rolling out Page Location and Core Analytics to a small number of white-label lighthouse customers and will offer them to all of our white-label customers in a few weeks.

Windows

We previewed Bluefire Reader for Windows at the Frankfurt Book Fair and Digital Book World, and will release the reference app this spring. Bluefire Reader for Windows will enable you to integrate your store into a full featured, ACS enabled reading app that runs on Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

ePUB 3

We are all in on ePUB 3! As you may already know, we helped found the Readium Foundation and provided initial financial support for the native code renderer project. We’ve continued to invest significant development resources in the native code project and have provided design support for Readium the web client. We are spearheading the integration of the Readium renderer into the iOS host application framework. And that’s just the work on ePUB 3that we can talk about at this time!

Looking Ahead to 2014

In 2014 we will be focused on 4 primary areas of development:

  1. Integration of ePUB 3 support into our white label application platform – ePUB 3 is the future, but like most forward looking investments, the payoff will take time. We are actively working on integrating support for ePUB 3 into all of our reference apps. We hope to roll out ePUB 3 support to our white-label customers this summer.
  2. Update of our Android app – We are continuing our work on our Android app refresh and hope to release the reference app this spring.
  3. Rollout of our Windows app – We are putting the finishing touches on our first release of our Windows app. We hope to release the reference app in this spring.
  4. Enhancement of our Cloud Services platform – We are in the process of rolling out Sync and Core Analytics to our first lighthouse white-label customers. We will be rolling out these services to interested white-label customers over the next few months. We are also working on an API for the analytics platform. We are still working on the specs, but hope to make this feature available to interested white-label licensees later this year.

As our plans solidify we will provide updates with more granular details.

With thanks to our customers and users around the world for a great 2013, and high hopes for 2014!

The Team at Bluefire

A Little Ketchup…

We’ve been hard at work for the past few months. So busy in fact that we’ve neglected to post! So before we head off for the long holiday weekend here are a few tasty updates.

Recent releases

We’ve issued a number of updates over the summer—mostly performance updates and bug fixes. Our latest versions are:

  • Bluefire Reader for iOS, version 1.9.7
  • Bluefire Reader for Android, version 1.5.8

Development update

We have a number of big development projects underway.

  • We’re on track to release our reading location synchronization and analytics services this fall. Blame this project for our long silence—we’ve been busy reading, syncing, checking stats and tweaking reports. It’s going to be cool!
  • We’re also making good headway on our ePUB 3 enabled app updates. Our Readium team-members are cranking out code and we’re all busy integrating and testing.

Look for more details on these two initiatives and more (including our iOS 7 release) in the next few weeks.

Frankfurt Book Fair

We will be exhibiting at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. If you’re planning on attending please stop by. We’re in Hall 8, L154.

Micah will be speaking on new developments in DRM at the Publisher’s Launch conference on Tuesday, October 8th. And, we’re hosting two panels on ePUB 3 in the Digital Zone during the show.

The first panel will be held on Wednesday, October 9th at 10:30 AM. It’s an ePUB 3 update for publishers. You’ll hear a progress report on the rollout of ePUB 3 across the publishing industry and learn how publishers are transitioning to ePUB 3. The panel features Bill McCoy of the IDPF and Leslie Hulse from HarperCollins Publishers.

The second panel will be held on Thursday, October 10th at 4:00 PM. The subject is ePUB 3 reading applications. You’ll hear from Micah and Jean-Marie Geffroy, President of Montano SAS. They’ll be talking about the Readium project and demoing ePUB 3 enabled apps.

Please stop by!

Have a great holiday weekend. We promise to post more frequently in the weeks and months to come!

- Cliff

Zoom In On the Latest Versions of Bluefire Reader

We’ve updated our apps: Bluefire Reader for iOS 1.9.6 and Bluefire Reader for Android 1.5.5 are available for download.

The latest version of our iOS app includes our powerful new image viewer that makes it easy to zoom in on embedded images in ePUB books. Your can even rotate the images—a big help when you’re working with maps. We’ve also added a new line spacing setting. You’ll find a number of other user interface refinements and (as always) bug fixes.

The latest version of our Android app is a performance and stability release.

Stay tuned: more to come!

- Cliff

 

Come See Us at the IDPF Digital Book Conference and BEA

Heading to New York for the IDPF Digital Book Conference and Book Expo America? Attend our session on reading systems and visit our booth!

Micah will be speaking in the “Reading Systems: Adding Value vs. Content Becoming Enhanced” session on Thursday, May 30th at 11:10 AM. Here’s a description of the session:

There’s a natural tug-of-war between publishers, who want enhanced and customized presentation of specific titles, and reading systems , who want to deliver enhanced experiences that work consistently across multiple titles. And users of course have their own needs and preferences. As titles are increasingly enhanced, how will reading systems differentiate and add value? What will be the drivers of product and content success?

Micah Bowers (Bluefire), Roger Webster (B&N), Steve Vinter (Google), Matt MacInnis (Inkling)

Bluefire will be exhibiting in the Digital Zone in booth 2071C. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

- Cliff