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.
I guess the writing has been on the wall for sometime, with little or nothing happening in terms of Stanza enhancements. It is sad, but a small casualty of the competitive environment we live in, without which we probably wouldn’t have the great technology we all love to consume!
A very close second in my opinion for iOS is Amazon’s own Kindle reader. Sure, it will only read mobi format but not all is lost! Calibre is a great free tool for converting ebook formats, and also has a “bulk convert” feature which in a short period of time can easily and seamlessly convert a raft of DRM free ebooks to mobi format. The most time consuming part of the exercise is using Calibre’s content server and Safari to get your ebooks onto your device, but since you only really need to do that one book at a time as you read them its not really a problem
I have switched to Kobo. I found it better than bluefire in terms on navigation, looks and customisability. Give it a try. Also, it supports vertical scrolling of text, something that I find more intuitive while reading eBooks.
Yah I also love Stanza a lot. And almost my whole like is based of the app hope to see an update somehow to support iso5.
Personally, I really like ShuBook and think it’s the closest to
Stanza. It has all the features I really used – like swiping down to
adjust contrast for late night reading – and even makes some
One “improvement” I like is that tapping on the lower third of the
screen while reading will bring up the navigation pane, not the settings
etc. The navigation pane is nice because the slider is for the moving
through that chapter only, and there buttons to instantly move to the
next or previous chapter. I like that better, but that’s just a matter
I haven’t tried Calibre integration yet, but lately I’ve been
emailing epubs to me anyway from within the Calibre app. That way, I
can also send books to my wife if she is out of town. Open the email on
the iPhone, tap and hold on the Epub and then select Open In….ShuBook
and it’s in the library.
Also, the developer is really active on this app and very communicative. That’s a good thing!
Anyway, my two cents…
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