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Bluefire Reader now complies with Apple’s in-app purchase rules

July 1st, 2011 by · 9 Comments · Apple, apps, software news

I’ve been exchanging tweets today with Micah Bowers, the head of Bluefire Productions. He’s confirmed that as of this morning that the Bluefire Reader app no longer has the buy links to partners’ websites.

You’ll need to open the app to see the difference, but don’t worry. You will not have to download an update. The only part of the app that changed was the Get Books tab. This part of the app is based on content pulled from web servers. This let Bluefire change the content without actually having to update the app.

Bluefire Reader  is probably the most popular independent reading app on iOS. It supports Epub and PDF, and it comes with 5 ebookstores integrated into the app.  (You can’t buy ebooks anymore, but you can still download them. ) It also supports library ebooks.

Unfortunately for us, not all of the ebookstores will be able to adapt as quickly as Bluefire. At the very least, Amazon and B&N will need to resubmit their apps, and I’m still not sure what Kobo plan to do.

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  • Micah

    Thanks for getting the word out Nate. I just want to clarify a couple things:

    1. Users never could “buy” ebooks from or in Bluefire Reader, rather they could browse and search retailer catalogs in Bluefire Reader, and follow links to the retailer’s website (which opened in the Browser.) On the retailer’s site, customers could purchase content. Apple has modified their guidelines recently wherein they specified that such links are not allowed in eReader apps on iOS, and so we removed them.

    2. Users can continue to shop and buy ebooks at our partner books stores and download them directly into Bluefire Reader.

    Bluefire receives no revenues related to purchases that our users make at our partner
    retailers and which the user downloads into Bluefire Reader. We used to receive affiliate fees when a user was referred to a book store via links in our application. We no longer have that revenue source on iOS. That is one unfortunate outcome of this change – for us. However, we do plan to continue to offer Bluefire Reader for free in the App Store and plan to continual improve the application. Our primary source of revenue is in licensing digital publishing technologies and providing services to retailers, publishers, libraries, and other institutions.

    For those Bluefire Reader users that will miss the shopping feature, we apologize for having to make this change. We encourage you to continue shopping at our partner retailer websites. We strongly believe in the value of a of a vibrant and diverse marketplace of ebook retailers. We will continue to work hard to build technology and tools that enable retailers, libraries, and institutions to cost effectively distribute content across devices and platforms.

    Happy Reading,
    Micah

  • Tyler

    How does Bluefire make money?

  • micah

    Mike,
    Yes, Android is imminent, though our customers will ship before “we” do. And next up? Windows.

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