It looks like the reports of Stanza’s death have been somewhat exaggerated. Today Amazon and Lexcycle released the first update to the popular iOS eBook app since February.

The update doesn’t add any new features, but it does fix one glaring problem: the previous version of Stanza didn’t work with iOS 5. The new version does.

Stanza has long been one of the most versatile eBook apps available for the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

The free app makes it easy to download free eBooks from popular digital book marketplaces including Project Gutenberg, Feedbooks, and SmashWords. You can also add custom catalogs, or import books from a computer using iTunes or simply by emailing EPUB files to yourself and opening them in Stanza on your mobile device.

Stanza’s reading view provides more customization options than nearly any other eBook app I’ve used. You can choose from a variety of themes, have day and night themes, or create custom color schemes. The app lets you adjust sizes and fonts, and set up custom line and paragraph spacing, margins, or tweak the page turn effects and settings.

While Bluefire Reader offers a few features that you don’t get from Stanza, including support for Adobe DRM, Bluefire isn’t nearly as customizeable — and since upgrading from iOS 4.3 to iOS 5 I’ve noticed that Bluefire is also less responsive than it used to be.

Stanza is available as a free download from the App Store.

Update: OK, the reports of Stanza’s death were premature… but not completely wrong. Amazon tells MacWorld that today’s update will be Stanza’s last. That’s a shame, because it really does providing a better reading experience than any other eBook app I’ve used.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...

3 replies on “Stanza returns from the dead (best eBook app for iOS 5)”

  1. Unfortunately, the new stanza isn’t compatible with ios 4. For those running ios 4, please don’t upgrade your stanza.

  2. …nor is it compatible with ios 5!

    After the update, I’m still getting error messages: “unknown file format” or “unknown file type”. This is when using the desktop Stanza app to sync (individually) books that I formerly used with the program prior to the ios 5 fiasco. I’m getting the same error when I navigate to a webpage on iphone or ipad with the option to “open with” stanza, as well as when using iTunes sync. The files involved are pdb and prc files, which stanza has never had an issue with before. Yes, I know about calibre and have already converted most of those prc/pdb files to use with other readers, but I was hoping that this final update would allow me to share/open those files like I used to.This is a different error than what I (and most other folks) got prior to the new ios “compatibility” update.

    1. I was getting the same error. So i reset my phone thinking that it would fix the error and it didn’t. I then uninstalled the app and reinstalled it and now it works. The sad thing is i lost all my books =(. Hope this helps.

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