For a few year ab app called Stanza was the undisputed champ of eBook readers for iOS. Stanza allowed iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad readers to download and read eBooks from a number of digital book marketplaces or copy books from a computer. The app did a great job of organizing books, and offered a number of options for viewing your books by changing font sizes, background colors, and other features.
All that changes if you upgrade to iOS 5. While the Stanza app is still available as a free download from the App Store, the app hasn’t been updated to support Apple’s latest operating system.
The first time I tried to open Stanza after upgrading to iOS 5 I experienced a series of crashes. A few days later I gave it another try, and while the app loads the last book I was reading, I can’t flip pages — and it crashes if I try to return to the library view.
Stanza simply doesn’t work with iOS 5.
The app probably won’t be updated anytime soon either. The company that produces Stanza was acquired by Amazon a few years ago, and Amazon kind of has its own eBook apps to focus on. Stanza hasn’t been updated since February.
Unfortunately the official Amazon Kindle apps don’t support EPUB books. You can convert any DRM-free EPUB books to MOBI files supported by Kindle software, but it’s kind of a pain.
There are a number of other eBook apps ready to take Stanza’s place. Bluefire is probably one of the best. It supports EPUB files including books that use Adobe DRM and even digital books from public libraries that use the OverDrive system.
But I’m still kind of sad to see Stanza go. We’ve been good friends for the last year or two as I fell in love with reading eBooks on my iPod touch.
Update 11/10/2011: Apparently Stanza’s not dead yet… it’s just almost dead. A new version has been released, complete with support for iOS 5.0. Unfortunately, this will be the last time Stanza is updated.