Bloom Reader for iOS

I’d love to see Bloom Reader created for iOS. Many denominational leaders and influential pastors I have spoken with have iPhones. But if I want to show them apps created in Bloom, they can’t open them on their iPhones, which becomes a deal-killer. Even though 90% of the people use Android, the people I need to reach in order to get their buy-in can’t be reached with the Android Bloom Reader.

LIz Pfeiffer wanted to know how widespread of an issue this is as a “deal-breaker”.
Here in Vanuatu, I, too have been asked, and it was by a government leader who has an iphone.

However, in the far-flung places where it is so needed, most people don’t even have a smart phone of any kind. Many started with them when phones first came to the islands, but later reverted to the trusty and cheaper “button phones”.
The reason I still place lots of hope in the BLOOM reader app is because I hope to go through the Ministry of Education and get android tablets in classrooms. I think showing the tablets will get “buy-in”, and if people know they can get the same children’s books on a phone, they may start buying android smart phones. This would open up the door for SU and adult books to be put on phones through BLOOM Reader app as well.


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I was encouraged to interact with you all on this subject. I work in North America with Native/First nations groups and basically the only device they use is iOS. I and my colleagues (who have much more experience than me) have not seen a Android device being used by the indigenous groups in North America. We are quite frankly, desperate to find a solution to the iOS problem. It is keeping native/first nations people from using their phones for Scripture Engagement and language development. This is a huge need.


iOS users can use reading apps created by Reading App Builder. Reading App Builder can import books created in Bloom.

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This is true, with a few caveats. 1. You need to have $99/year to shell out to Apple for the privilege of having a developer account. 2. You have to jump through Apple’s approval process hoops, and apps produced by RAB are having a hard time making it through.

Very few of our national bretheren have $99/year lying around to spend, nor the know-how to become an Apple developer. Yet, when they show an app developed in Bloom to one of their denominational leaders, but can’t get it installed on their phone, the leadership’s interest and enthusiasm diminishes.

The plea for a Bloom Reader app on iOS is so our national bretheren can easily create content on Bloom, which can then be accessed on the Reader app on either Android or iOS.

Either that, or we need to have a group of registered Apple developers who are willing to create RAB apps and submit them to the Apple store on behalf of our national co-workers. Any volunteers?

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Don’t get me wrong. I would love to see Bloom Reader on iOS. But, unfortunately, the lack of resources for this to happen at this point are at least as restricting as what you have pointed out.

I was just voicing an alternative (Reading App Builder) in case anyone was unaware.

You need to have $99/year to shell out to Apple for the privilege of having a developer account.

@chrisvire, Is this still true? I thought I heard this had changed.

Don’t let that discourage anyone from continuing to vote for this feature or providing stories of how it would help. The only way we can prioritize resources properly is to hear from you!

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Bloom Reader isn’t only relevant in 3rd world countries. I just finished a Bloom presentation today for English trainers here in the Netherlands. The fact that Android can be simulated on Windows, opened a world of options for Bloom in the classroom. But in order to deliver a solution to all parents, Bloom Reader needs to be Android + iOS.

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I am supporting a literacy workshop by demonstrating Bloom and in the course of talking about the Bloom Reader and Talking Book was surprised to see several participants pull out iphones and ask about them. I asked about it and it seems that this country gets the older iPhones that have been traded in for newer models elsewhere. That was a genuine surprise to me. I hadn’t even considered my part of the world being a part of the used iPhone market.

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Bloom Reader for iOS would be great! There is a great difference in the technical knowledge and expertise required to publish a book to Bloom Reader (very simple) and publish/updating an app in Reading App Builder (quite complex, and it seems even more so for iOS).

I LOVE how easy it is to create, record, and publish a book to Bloom Reader. I can teach almost anyone to do it. Reading App Builder is great IF you have someone who knows how to use it and can help publish new books/apps for you (or train you or someone else to do that). If you don’t have that level of expertise in your area, it quickly becomes a stumbling block. For that reason, I would also love to see Bloom Reader in iOS.

I received a request today (Aug 11, 2020) from Guatemala for the Bloom Reader App for iOS.

As unsatisfactory as ePUB is, it is currently the only way to view Bloom books on iOS. ePUB has definite limitations – there are things Bloom Reader can display that ePUB cannot. And there is wide variation in how well readers reproduce the ePUB’s content. But it does work.

The lack of Mac and iOS support has been a drawback for me getting active on Bloom. I’m probably not the only one with more than one “job”. On the other hand I am VERY happy that I came back to take another look recently and BLOOM has made very good progress! THANK YOU to those who work on this. I use BLOOM, FLEx, and Paratext on my Mac via VMWare Fusion (now free by the way for non-commercial use. Of course you still have to obtain a legal copy of Windows.). It would be helpful to have both BLOOM and BLOOM Reader in MACOS and iOS respectively. I have an Apple Developer account though I have not used it much and am not at all a developer but am planning to try the RAB strategy. But it would be helpful to have Bloom Reader at least on the iOS. Thanks again for the great work on all these apps!

I’m happy to announce some progress on this.

First, we got the Bloom Player-driven playback of Bloom books working on Safari on iOS, and so books on Bloom Library can now be viewed on iOS devices.

Second, Reading App Builder for iOS now supports building apps that include Bloom books, using our Bloom Player engine.

Great news! Thanks for all the work you’ve put into in order to make this work!

I realized later, after posting my request, that Apple will NEVER allow a Bloom Reader app in their store. It allows for accessing content outside the Apple ecosystem, which is a big no-no for Apple. If they can’t control it and charge for it, it’s not going to happen.

Thank you for finding a way around this draconian obstacle!!

Got this feature request already several times, so just curious if an iOS version of the Bloom Reader App is or will be on the Roadmap? Just read about the option to view Bloom Library books on iOS devices, which is great, but I assume this only works when connected with the internet? In our context (DR Congo) we see more and more people that have refurbished iPhones but at the same time are disconnected from the internet for most of the time.

One solution for distributing Bloom books to iPhones in places where people are not connected to the Internet is to use a Wi-Fi Media Box. You can get more information on what they are, how to choose the best one for your situation, and different ways to use them at this website - www . wifimediabox . com (since I can’t put a URL in this post…)

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curious if an iOS version of the Bloom Reader App is or will be on the Roadmap?

It’s on the roadmap, but more as a wish than a plan. Recently we made an effort to get some funding for that work, but it wasn’t a good fit for the funder.

Just read about the option to view Bloom Library books on iOS devices, which is great, but I assume this only works when connected with the internet?

Right. Sorry. Even getting that simple thing to work with IOS’s browser-- even Chrome on IOS must use Safari as the engine-- was a surprisingly large amount of work.

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Thanks for the suggestion! Do you happen to know what Bloom files need to be published on this mediabox for users to be able to read Bloom books in Safari on IOS?

Thanks! No sorry needed, the Bloom Reader App for Android is already a great tool and I got some very encouraging reports from people in DR Congo using it to read and share Bloom books. Keep up the good work!