Announcing Cloudshelf Reader for iOS

We are pleased to formally announce Cloudshelf Reader, an all new ereader application from Bluefire that supports digital publications in the EPUB3 open standard that can contain video, audio, animation, interactivity, media overlays, fixed layout content, and other advanced features of the EPUB3 specification.

Cloudshelf Reader empowers learning and productivity with tools for bookmarking, highlighting, annotations and full text search as well as tools for browsing, tagging and searching bookmarks and annotations across all downloaded documents – in one place. We’ve also included a fun drawing feature for annotating publications with a stylus or finger. This feature is experimental at this point, but we see opportunities to extend and refine this feature in many exciting ways.

The app was designed from the bottom-up to leverage the accessibility features of the iOS operating system such as Voice Over. We intend to further improve the a11Y related reading features, and with this 1.0 version we have a solid foundation to build upon. For us, accessibility is the most meaningful and important aspect of the EPUB3 specification, and we are strong believers that accessibility is not just the right thing to do, it will soon be seen as mission critical for all major business and institutions worldwide.

In Cloudshelf Reader, we are leveraging the work we’ve been doing with the Readium Foundation over the last few years to build core open source technology components necessary to build browser and platform native reading system apps that support EPUB3.

For use cases that require digital rights management we chose to integrate an all-new DRM technology from Sony DADC called User Rights Management Solution (URMS). This technology makes use of the robust Marlin DRM specification. URMS provides unique flexibility in content license management including optional license transfer and on-demand revocation which we believe will enable innovative new products and services for digital publications. As such, we have decided to become a reseller of URMS.

Cloudshelf Reader is not an update to, or replacement of Bluefire Reader. It is a completely new product and we continue to offer our popular Bluefire Reader white label app service. More information about our Cloudshelf Reader products and services can be found on our website.

Please download the free Cloudshelf Reader app, give it a spin, and let us know what you think. The Dropbox feature provides a convenient way to import your DRM-free EPUB files, and of course the “Open-in” feature of iOS is handy too. We’ve put together a Cloudshelf Reader community site, and we very much value and appreciate any feedback, feature requests, or bug reports.

Cloudshelf Reader apps for Android and modern browsers are coming soon.


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

2016 Kickoff: Bluefire Reader for iOS version 2.5

We’re kicking off 2016 with an update of Bluefire Reader for iOS. Version 2.5 enhances performance on devices running iOS 9 and adds support for the new Split View feature. Reading and taking notes just got a whole lot easier!
Split View

Bluefire Reader in Split View on an iPad Air 2

The update is now available in the iTunes App Store.
– Cliff

Bluefire Reader for iOS: Now optimized for iPhone 6 and 6+

We are pleased to announce Bluefire Reader for iOS, version 2.4. With this release Bluefire Reader is now fully optimized for iPhone 6 and 6+. We’ve also added support for 64-bit rendering and native iOS dictionary definitions.

Bluefire Reader on iPhone 6+

Bluefire Reader on iPhone 6+

Update today and let us know what you think!

– Cliff

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.


– Cliff