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Bluefire Reader for iPhone

Download Editors' Rating:
Editors' Rating:
Average User Rating:
out of 3 votes out of 0 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
  • Total Downloads:
  • Date Added:
    Jun. 10, 2016
  • Price:
    Free; iTunes account required.
  • File Size:
  • Downloads Last Week:
  • Platform:
  • Product ranking:
    #10 in eBooks

Editors' Review


For people who love to read but don't have a lot of extra cash to spend on books, nothing beats the public library. (Thanks Ben Franklin!) Even better, in recent years, many libraries have started offering e-books that you can check out for a few weeks, just like the real thing. Unfortunately, despite the plethora of e-book readers in the App Store, you couldn't read these DRM-protected library titles on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad.

Until now, that is. Bluefire Reader supports not only ePub and PDF formats, but also the Adobe DRM used by most libraries. During testing, we checked out Dennis Lehane's "Shutter Island" and Junot Diaz's "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," both free of charge, both without getting in the car and driving to the library. However, we had to jump through some hoops to make it happen, and the end result wasn't always perfect. Indeed, if you're expecting this process to have Kindle-like simplicity, don't.

For starters, you need a library card and/or an online account with your local library. When we signed into mine, the "ebook" section listed only NetLibrary (which has a pretty weak selection) as a download source. However, we remembered previously downloading audiobooks via OverDrive--a service that also carries e-books.

Sure enough, when we clicked through, we were able to browse and download from OverDrive's much larger e-book selection. (It's where we scored the two aforementioned titles.) Your mileage may vary, but we suspect that's where most libraries will lead you.

OverDrive offers e-books in ePub and PDF formats. Whenever possible, choose the former; reading PDFs on an iPhone or iPod is not pleasant because you're looking at, well, PDFs, not formatted e-book files. You can't adjust the font size or much of anything else. ePubs afford a much, much better reading experience.

Alas, format notwithstanding, the book you want may not be available for checkout. As with print editions in a real library, there are a limited number of licenses to go around. (Likewise, most books "expire" after three weeks, meaning they're no longer readable unless you check them out again.) We were able to place a hold on popular titles like "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "The Help," but without knowing when they would become available.

Before you can actually read any downloaded book, you'll need to install Adobe Digital Editions (available free for Windows and Mac OS). With that step done, you can download your library book--which you'll need to open at least once in Digital Editions before you can transfer it to Bluefire Reader. And to do that, you'll use iTunes' "sideloading" feature. Check out Bluefire's help page for complete instructions.

Whew! Like we said, all this is enough to make one long for the simplicity of a Kindle. But once you learn the ropes, it's actually pretty quick and easy. And, hey, isn't it worth a little effort to score e-books for free?

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Publisher's Description

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User Reviews

Results 1–3 of 3

1 stars

"I don't think I could rate this low enough"

April 29, 2015  |  By PAYoung_1

2015-04-29 09:40:12  |  By PAYoung_1

 |  Version: Bluefire Reader 2.4


I can borrow ebooks.


App will crash every ten minutes or so. Those highlights, they get erased, often, and after one or two are placed the highlighter goes dead and stops working. And that crash, it is bad enough to require an uninstall/re-install to get it to open again


WORST e-reader I've ever used. Kindle, Scribd, MS Notebook on a PC, any of these are better and better for you, especially if you have high blood pressure (if you don't already, this app is a great way to get it).

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4 stars

"Great App. Easy to use. Good tutorials."

September 05, 2011  |  By lazvlizard

2011-09-05 09:12:28  |  By lazvlizard

 |  Version: Bluefire Reader 1.5


Only App that works well with the Adobe Digital Editions. I have used it over 6 months for reading Library books on my iPod Touch. Recognized by iTunes.


It takes several clicks to place a library ebook since you need to use iTunes to place it on your device.


Great App for reading ebooks. Quicker response than iBooks to display new titles and switch portrait/landscape modes.

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4 stars

"Consolidated eBook app v1.0"

January 06, 2011  |  By laugibbins

2011-01-06 10:20:37  |  By laugibbins

 |  Version: Bluefire Reader 1.0


Free! Well thought out layout. Nice organization.


It's the inaugural version. (But it's free) and I expect better things to come with time and use and popularity.


Always leary of first versions apps, but this one is well thought through. Look and feel is similar to Apple iBooks which is superior! But I like this one because it actually encourages you to go to the PUBLIC Library and investigate ePub book availability!

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Results 1–3 of 3

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Full Specifications

What's new in version 2.5
-Enhanced support for multitasking on iOS 9, including Slide Over and Split View-Miscellaneous bug fixes
Publisher Bluefire Productions
Publisher web site
Release Date October 09, 2010
Date Added June 10, 2016
Version 2.5
Category Educational Software
Subcategory eBooks
Operating Systems
Operating Systems iOS
Additional Requirements Compatible with: ipad2wifi, ipad23g, iphone4s, ipadthirdgen, ipadthirdgen4g, iphone5, ipodtouchfifthgen, ipadfourthgen, ipadfourthgen4g, ipadmini, ipadmini4g
Download Information
File Size 19.73MB
File Name External File
Total Downloads 7,751
Downloads Last Week 9
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

Previous Versions:

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