Bluefire Reader now Available in the Android Market
There’s been no formal announcement yet, but Bluefire Reader is now available in the Android Market.
You probably know of Bluefire Reader on iOS, but unless you’ve been following this blog you might not know that Bluefire have been working on an Android version of the app since last year. BTW, they already released an Android app which had been built for one of their customers, Libri.de.
Bluefire Reader is a wildly popular iOS app that supports Epub and PDF. Unlike Stanze, Bluefire reader supports Adobe DE DRM. It works with any number of ebookstores and it even supports library ebooks. It has long since replaced Stanza as the touchstone reading app for iOS, and I would say that Bluefire Reader might give Aldiko, the leading Android reading app, a run for its money.
billbo August 30, 2011 um 3:42 pm
Bluefire has some way to go before it will be as good as Alkido, CoolReader or Moon+. First off when it installs it takes over the ePub file type as the default without asking the user so minus one point for the arrogance factor.
The "A"-factor would be moot if the app was appreciably better than the competitors. Its slower than Aldiko, which makes it the slowest of the top reading apps. After changing font size then leaving the app and jumping back the word wrap got ruined so that the text ran off the screen and some fiddling was needed to force a manual reformat.
The only way to load books besides "buying" them from the 3 stores is to copy the files to the Bluefire/Import folder. It would have been smart to make this redirectable by the user to point to the common pool of eBooks shared by other apps.
The last big problem I had with Bluefire was not being able to point it to my Calibre library on my desktop.
The note-taking/bookmarking is Bluefire’s strongest suit, with the text selection being the easiest to use among the top readers. Unfortunately its a bit too easy–you invariably begin selecting a region if you are too casual when tapping to change pages. Note taking is also exclusively internal, unlike the other readers that tap into Evernote and blogging or note taking apps.
Overall I think it is a robust reader but I’d wait for the next version for a speed increase, better library management and more features. I am not too optimistic about an iOS-centric app getting much development time.
fjtorres August 30, 2011 um 4:50 pm
Thanks for the assessment.
I won’t be wasting time trying to get ahold of it outside the company store.
Android Dev September 2, 2011 um 12:44 pm
There is no such thing as "taking over" a file format on Android. To associate with a file format, you establish something called an intent filter (http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/intents/intents-filters.html). Unlike windows, there can be as many options as you like. You could have 100 eBook readers. If you are seeing behavior that indicates always opens an ePub in BluefireReader, that simply means that that BluefireReader is the only app that you have that exactly corresponds to the intent being fired. It has aboslutely nothing to do with arrogance by a developer, and everything to do with other programs not setting up their intent filters correctly.
Android Buffet Podcast » Episode 59 – Jere Gets a New Job September 6, 2011 um 8:47 am
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