Stanza, the popular ebook reading application from Lexycle that was acquired by Amazon last year has released version 2.1 of their iPhone app.
This update removes one of the existing features that let users sync ebooks between their computer and iPhone using a USB cable.
The version update, it appears, has been forced upon the company by Apple.
This has caused a lot of frustration among Stanza users who see Apple’s decision as a way to score a point over Amazon which is likely to be Apple’s strongest competitor for its iBooks application.
However, the reason behind Apple’s decision appears to be technical in nature rather than anything strategic. TechCrunch notes that syncing via USB is not supported by any of the public APIs. As Chris Devor from myPod Apps (the company that built the iPhone Explorer program for Stanza) explains, this syncing was made possible by creating a subfolder on the iPhone’s Digital Camera Image Management (DCIM) folder; the only folder that iPhone apps have access to. Devor says Apple recently disallowed iPhone apps from accessing the DCIM folder and this is exactly the reason why Stanza was forced to remove the USB syncing feature.
Interestingly, this only appears to be a short-term inconvenience. As folks at Ars Technica note, the beta SDK for iPhone OS 3.2 offers public APIs for access to a shared storage folder. Though this version of the operating system is currently supports only iPad, Ars Technica speculates the new version of OS to be made available to the iPhone as well when the iPad ships in March of this year.
Were you using the USB sync feature? Let us know your views in the comments below.
[via TechCrunch, Ars Technica]