Bloom Reader App Plans and Progress

We are happy to announce a new software development effort called Bloom Reader. We expect elements of the following plan to ship, in small increments, over the next year.


Book creators need a simple way to publish to mobile devices both locally and via the internet. On the receiving end, readers need single, simple app that lets them find out about, share, and read books in their own language.


The Bloom Reader is an Android app which

  • Displays Bloom books
  • Plays Talking Books recorded in Bloom
  • Plays background music and does animation for Story Videos
  • Lets internet-connected users browse and download books
  • Notifies users of new books available in their language
  • Allows offline users to share books

Bloom Desktop will be enhanced with a “Publish to Bloom Reader” function that

  • Can push directly to a connected phone for immediate use during and after book-making workshops will be enhanced to offer up a catalog of all books to Bloom Reader apps, so that people with that app installed can

  • View a list of all books in their language that have been uploaded to
  • Choose to download books to their device
  • Get device notifications when new books become available in their language.

One problem is that there are so many kinds of devices out there… make sure that the common ones in your country will work by engaging with this effort early. You can become a beta tester of the Bloom Reader, just by contacting us.

As we progress, we will make updates on this topic thread.

This thread is not the place to report problems or ask for help. Please use the normal Bloom “Help:Report a Problem” mechanism, or start a new topic.


Awesome idea!!! thank you so very much for your efforts! :slight_smile:

I am excited to hear about this project. I have a Spanish speaker who will be eager to be a beta tester and I would like to be on the beta tester list as well.

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We’re totally ready for this in PNG and the Pacific!

I agree with Koen and we definitely need this. Koen did not say, but quite obviously he should be a beta tester since he is primary liaison to several Universities in the Pacific ready to embrace Bloom in their literacy projects.

I see this is being developed directly as an “Android” app.
Has anybody any experience with what is involved in making a Windows 10 UWP app, which (so they say), can be easily converted to Android and iPhone?
Might this not be worth looking into?
Or is there simple ways to wrap Android apps for iPhone and Windows10 UWP (which is NOT for Windows “phones”, but apparently is the future direction for all Windows development)?
Just wondering.

The concept sounds VERY HELPFUL.

There are literacy workers in Asia (e.g. Indonesia) who are looking forward to this being available.

Is there a target date? (I’m not wanting to rush you, but I have been asked when it will be available).

We have Bloom Reader running with Bloom 4.0 alpha now. I expect Bloom 4.0 will be in the beta channel in September or October. Our hard deadline for Bloom 4.0 and Bloom Reader to go on the Release channel is January 2018.

Thanks John. That’s helpful.

Popular Android brands used in Asia are Samsung, Oppo, Lenovo, Asus, Huawei, Sony.

It would be good to make sure the Bloom Reader works with these. We can probably find some tester if needed.

We are in the final days of work on Bloom Reader 1.0 and Bloom 4.0 (which can publish to it). We expect to begin final internal testing before these go “beta” in the coming weeks.

Here are the release notes:

This initial release has only the most basic capabilities. You can use WiFi or USB to publish a book from the Bloom program on a laptop to this app.

Future releases will include the following:

  • embed fonts in books (currently only supports Andika)
  • share books with other devices
  • play audio books
  • get books from

When do you expect the Bloom Reader with the audio feature to be available?

When do you expect the Bloom Reader with the audio feature to be available?

Shouldn’t be long… that’s the next thing we’ll be doing.

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Bloom Reader is now playing Audio. The last thing we’re working on for 1.0 is applying special Front/Back Matter pages when you publish a book to Bloom Reader.

If anyone would like to help us do some pre-beta testing on different devices, you can install our “internal beta” of Bloom, and the alpha of Bloom Reader. Report any bugs using the “report a problem” command under Bloom’s Help menu.

Bloom Reader 1.0 is now available as a Beta version. You can now share one or all of your books with a friend.

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What is the process for sharing a book? How do people get books into the app? I see there’s a “Receive books over WiFi” option, but that just shows “looking for book advertisements…” and the name of the network. How is a book “advertised”?

In case others are wondering about progress, we successfully published three shell books with audio to Bloom Reader in each of four languages for a total of twelve in a workshop in Indonesia this week.
While there were hiccups, the Bloom team proved themselves capable of rapid response. The translation teams were grinning broadly when they got apps on their phones.
We got the apps onto one phone in each team using wifi serving. Then we let that user figure out the best way to get it to other team members. Most used WhatsApp. Once they get off the grid, they’ll need another method, but they’re resourceful.


In Bloom 4.0 beta, go to Publish:Android. There are 3 methods there:

WIFI works well, normally, but some people have found it has hiccups. So we’ve started re-writing that to see if a different approach might be 100% reliable.

USB works great for some phones, not at all for others. (not available on Linux)

Finally, Bloom gives the choice of saving the file to disk, and use anything you like, e.g. ShareIt!, to get it to a phone. When you open it on the phone, Bloom Reader will move it to its Bloom directory.

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Once the next version of Bloom and the Bloom Reader are officially released, it would be great to have a short video which explains the process (and the various methods) to publish from Bloom to the Bloom reader.

Sure, send us the link :slight_smile: