Bluefire E-book Reader for iPad - Revisited

| Quick Look Review

Recently, the very capable Bluefire E-book reader, version 1.6, for iPad was reviewed with a very favorable rating. After the review was published, the app was updated to version 1.7 with some significant improvements that are worth a mention.

Here are the significant changes in version 1.7.

  • Support for the new iPad Retina display
  • Support for external hyperlinks in ePUB and PDF titles
  • New on-screen swipe (up/down) for brightness control
  • Improved side-loading
  • Improved support for editing metadata
  • Support for multiple Adobe IDs

Unlike other e-book readers, Bluefire uses a bitmap for the display. With the introduction of the iPad 3 and the Retina Display, that bit map is very much larger, according to the developer. As a result,  I had some occasional problems with the app becoming unresponsive, and I had to reboot the iPad 3. However, the developer couldn’t reproduce my particular problem. They are looking into it, and it’s just something to be aware of.

I really like the ability to adjust the screen brightness by swiping up or down. That option is at the bottom the Settings popover for that book. It’s one of those features that makes reading books so much nicer on the iPad rather than a Mac.

New Settings

You can enable/disable the swipe to change brightness

Improved side-loading refers to the fact that when you add a book yourself, described in the original review, an internal data structure has to be updated. The algorithm there has been improved to better reveal to the user the progress on updating the display of the entire library.

You can now alter the metadata for the book. Click on “Contents” in the Navigation bar at the bottom for the loaded book, ad then click on “Item Info” at the top. Note that this data is maintained internally for that book, but not actually written back to the file. So if you move the book to another reader, the original data remains unchanged.

The support for multiple Adobe IDs means that if customers alredy have accounts for, say, Books-A-Million, Bluefire will allow you to use those credentials related to Adobe Content Server (ACS) books.

Final Thoughts

I am impressed with this e-book reader: the energy in the support and the design. Ever since Amazon bought Stanza and allowed it to languish, this e-book reader looks to become a favored alternative.

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