(Image courtesy TechCrunch)
Ask an iPhone user their favorite ebook application, and you are likely to get one answer: Stanza. This app allows you to read books from various public domain and DRM free sources, as well as load ePubs and ereader books via USB. Well, scratch the USB bit as of last night’s update.
Stanza and Apple are being very tightlipped about the reasons for the removal, but users of the feature are obviously very unhappy. So what happened?
A few theories:
1) Apple discovered Stanza was tapping into the file system in violation of the SDK.
2) Apple is trying to protect the upcoming iBooks by pruning overlapping features.
3) Stanza is owned by Amazon, and Apple is trying to make Jeff Bezos lose his mind.
The most logical option is #2. Apple wants to give iBooks the highest chance of success possible, but they are walking a fine line due to the huge ebook ecosystem already in place for the iPhone. So they selectively target the biggest overlaps, giving iBooks a competitive advantage. Since we know Apple is using ePub, it is entirely possible the iBooks app can read ePubs loaded via USB. And now Apple is giving everyone with an ePub library a reason to use the iBooks app…
Granted, it could be an SDK issue, but why not just say so? That happens often to developers, and they almost always admit that was the problem. The silence indicates there is more behind the scenes.
What do you think prompted the functionality removal? And does this impact how you use Stanza? Share below!