Bluefire Reader

Bluefire Reader

Editors' Rating:
4.5
Outstanding
Average User Rating:
4.0
out of 2 votes
See all user reviews

Quick Specs

Version:
2.0.3
File Size:
24.3MB
Date Added:
March 20, 2014
Price:
Free; iTunes account required.
Operating Systems:
iOS
Total Downloads:
6,340
Downloads Last Week:
16
Product ranking:
#10 in eBooks
Additional Requirements:
Compatible with iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4. iTunes account required.

Editors' Note: The download button opens the iTunes App Store, where you may continue the download process. You must have iTunes installed with an active iTunes account in order to download and install the software. This download may not be available in some countries.

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?

Publisher's Description

Screenshots

More Products to Consider

All User Reviews

    Results 1-2 of 2

  • 4 stars

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

    September 05, 2011   |   By lazvlizard

    Version: Bluefire Reader 1.5

    Pros

    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.

    Cons

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

    Summary

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

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 4 stars

    "Consolidated eBook app v1.0"

    January 06, 2011   |   By laugibbins

    Version: Bluefire Reader 1.0

    Pros

    Free! Well thought out layout. Nice organization.

    Cons

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

    Summary

    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!

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • Results 1-2 of 2

Add Your Review

Quickly sign in with: or Login or create an account to post a review.
You are logged in as . Please submit your review for Bluefire Reader
Add Your Review

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

Update your review

Since you've already submitted a review for this product, this submission will be added as an update to your original review.
Submit

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

Previous Versions:

Close[x]

Submit a problem report for Bluefire Reader

Please describe the problem you have with this software. This information will be sent to our editors for review.

Problem:

The Download.com Installer isn't working as expected

The download link does not work

The software has a newer version

The product contains malicious software

Other

Description:

Please select a feedback type.

Please enter a description.

Submit Problem Report

Close[x]

Problem Report submitted

Thank you for submitting a problem report! The Download team is committed to providing you with accurate software information.

OK