ebrary on Bluefire

One of the criticisms I had of the official ebrary app for iPad was that if you used Federated Access or Athens the only way to authorise the app was via Facebook.

I am never a fan of making people sign up to a social networking service just so that they can do something else or to support their learning. Also in many FE Colleges, Facebook is blocked for either staff, learners or both, or there is restricted access.

I had heard of the Bluefire app before, but hadn’t looked at it, as the reports I heard was that it “didn’t work” across Federated Access or Athens and needed a dedicated ebrary account.

Whilst researching my ebrary on Android article I decided that the Bluefire app may be worth another look, as I had read that it was possible to use Bluefire with an Adobe Digital ID to access and download ebrary books, all without needing to go through Facebook.

Download the Bluefire app from the iTunes App store, it’s a free app.

Authorise the app with your Adobe Digital ID.

Visit the ebrary platform in the mobile Safari browser. Sign in, through Federated Access (or Athens) and then find the book you want. Select Download and then download the book.

If you have the ebrary app on your iOS device then you will be asked which app you want to use with the download.

Select Open in… and then select Bluefire Reader.

In terms of usability both Bluefire and ebrary work in a similar manner.

The advantage of Bluefire over ebrary, is not just not needing to connect your ebrary account with Facebook, but also you can use the Bluefire app for other e-books, so you can use a single app for all your reading. If your college is publishing resources and assignments in ePub format then you will be able to read these in the Bluefire app.

2 thoughts on “ebrary on Bluefire”

  1. Hello,

    Thanks for the kind words about ebrary.

    Turns out the “need” to use Facebook is only if you want/need on-line access to ebrary through the ebrary app. We chose to offer the Facebook alternitive because:
    * Facebook is fairly ubiquitous,
    * it’s free,
    * it was easier for many users to access if they already have Facebook (1 less password to remember), and
    * to avoid other difficulties. For example most Athens users don’t know what their ebrary account-name is, nor should they have to.

    Even with all that we are looking into additional sign-in methods to be implemented later.

    Also, by the way, you can use the ebrary app for downloaded ebrary titles exactly as you are using Bluefire now:
    * Search with the Safari browser
    * download
    * select the ebrary app

    In that case there’s no need to sign-in at all. — The ebrary app does not require you to sign into ebrary
    You can also use iTunes to move PDFs from you laptop.desktop to your iPad at will.

    Likewise the ebrary app can be used for other unprotected and Adobe protected PDF content.

    So, you are welcome to use Bluefire, we happen to think the ebrary app experience is superior.
    They’re both free, select the one you like best.


    Bruce Barrett,
    Director Product Management

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