Changes at Bluefire

Today we are announcing the departure of Cliff Guren, our VP of Business Development. Over the past five years I have had the pleasure of working with Cliff as we’ve successfully grown our software licensing business. During this time we’ve created white-label applications for 70 companies around the globe, and licensed Adobe Content Server to more than 90 companies worldwide. Our impact and global reach have been amazing for a company our size. Cliff has done a fabulous job for us and we hope to find opportunities to work together in the years to come.

Cliff will be focusing on re-launching his consulting business, Syntopical. He hopes to use the digital media related expertise that he has developed working at Bluefire, Hearst, Microsoft, and Apple to help publishers and other content focused businesses refine their digital media strategies, build key business relationships, and grow their revenues.

Over the coming months you will hear more from us about updates to Bluefire Reader and our white-label apps. You’ll also be hearing from us as we launch Cloudshelf, our new family of EPUB 3 reader applications and distribution services. Cloudshelf will enable businesses and institutions of all types to easily and cost-effectively deploy digital private libraries and subscription services to their constituent groups (employees, students, association members, and consumers). But that’s a story for another day… Stay tuned!

We are grateful to Cliff for his significant contributions to our success.

– Micah

A Note on Data Collection by Adobe Digital Editions 4.0

Over the past few days we’ve received a number of questions about Adobe’s collection of user data in Adobe Digital Editions 4.0 (ADE 4.0). We’re writing today to address these questions.

For those of you who have not been following the issue, it has recently been reported that ADE 4.0 collects data about user reading habits and transmits the data to Adobe’s servers in plain text. It does so without any user controls to turn off or limit the data collection. Understandably, users have expressed concerns about the privacy implications of this feature.

Following the initial disclosure about the data collection feature Adobe issued the following statement:

All information collected from the user is collected solely for purposes such as license validation and to facilitate the implementation of different licensing models by publishers. Additionally, this information is solely collected for the eBook currently being read by the user and not for any other eBook in the user’s library or read/available in any other reader. User privacy is very important to Adobe, and all data collection in Adobe Digital Editions is in line with the end user license agreement and the Adobe Privacy Policy.

We have been asked if we perform similar data collection in our free Bluefire Reader apps. The answer is No. While our apps are built on Adobe Reader Mobile SDK (RMSDK) versions 9 and 10, we are not aware of similar data collection by Adobe in these SDKs.

We do support an optional Bluefire developed sync feature that (when enabled by the user) sends anonymous, encrypted data to our servers. This data is used to sync the user’s reading location across the user’s activated reading devices. We also collect a limited amount of anonymous aggregated usage information. All of this is spelled out in our “Terms and Conditions” and “Privacy” statements.

We want you, our users, to know that we respect and value your privacy. While it is true that some technologies (like page location sync) require the transmission of user data, we believe that it is essential to implement these services in a manner that respects and protects the privacy of our users. We believe that our current apps meet this standard.

– The Bluefire Team

Bluefire Reader for iOS 8

Just a quick note to let you know that we’ve released Bluefire Reader for iOS 8. This release includes a number of compatibility fixes.

Our next release will include optimizations for the new iPhones.

Enjoy!

– Cliff

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