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Old 02-02-2010, 03:00 PM   #1
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Apple has Stanza remove USB sharing from App

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...020200995.html

Quote:
Last night, I was prompted to update the app to a new version (2.1), and as usual I checked what the changes were. The accompanying message was pretty brief: 'Removed the ability to share books via USB'.

I thought it was an odd update but didn't think much about it, and since I didn't actually use that feature simply downloaded and installed the new version.

Just for your reference: the feature enabled users to transfer books in the ePub or eReader format to their mobile devices using a USB cable.

This morning, we got some tips from people who were angry or surprised about Lexcycle removing the USB sharing feature from the Stanza app. I looked up the app in the iTunes Store and saw that the update notice now read 'Removed the ability to share books via USB as required by Apple'. A glance at the forums on the Lexcycle website revealed that users were quite upset about the removal of the app, with only some suggesting that Apple may have had something to do with it and offering explanations why they would have demanded it.

I asked Lexcycle if and why Apple had requested the removal of the feature from the iPhone app via e-mail and swiftly received a short response, saying that Apple had indeed demanded that Lexcycle remove the feature from Stanza. I requested more information but was subsequently told by Lexcycle was strictly 'forbidden from discussing the specifics of our conversations with Apple on this matter'.

Anyone think this is NOT a shot at further locking down competing reading apps headed for the iPad?
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:06 PM   #2
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Sure, except it could also be deprecated for the upcoming file sharing in SDK 3.2, which will hopefully get rid of all the wifi/bluetooth/go thru the DCIM folder USB methods that developers have had to use to put files onto the iPhone.

Just to be clear, as a long time Stanza user-the USB method was never the main method of getting content into Stanza-it was always through wi-fi. Using iPhone Explorer was a cool hack to access the file system without jailbreaking.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:06 PM   #3
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I won't take that bet. Apple started the fight with MacMillan, and now they are being Apple. The absence of the USB on the ipad is huge.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:07 PM   #4
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Actually apple started asking app developers to do this last year. Not just reading apps but also apps in other categories. I remember seeing a few apps with bad reviews cause this function was taken away from the apps.

edit:

I can't remember where i read this but i think one of the developers said that transferring over usb is not supposed to be supported but the developers found the loophole and had it in their apps. I think he said most if not all apps did not advertise it in the app store, so apple never really got around to checking. I still have 1 apps with this function.

Last edited by readmorenow; 02-02-2010 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:23 PM   #5
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Goodreader, a PDF reader, has had this feature disabled a while ago...
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydney's Mom View Post
I won't take that bet. Apple started the fight with MacMillan, and now they are being Apple. The absence of the USB on the ipad is huge.
why is the absence on iPad huge? I cant think of anything you would use it for that cant be achieved by the 'proper' transfer methods.

Im a big user of stanza and have never eaven used this function and have lots of my own epubs in Stanza.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:33 PM   #7
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Goodreader, a PDF reader, has had this feature disabled a while ago...
Thanks for that note. I had switched computers and thought I lost the USB capability on my own. Interesting limitation.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:36 PM   #8
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Thanks for that note. I had switched computers and thought I lost the USB capability on my own. Interesting limitation.
I think that they are starting to remove the loophole that allowed that possibility at first...

I guess that they are afraid, maybe, of providing an entry point for virii and such-like...
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:04 PM   #9
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If this spreads to wifi then I'll be unhappy. Wasn't using USB myself.
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penforhire View Post
If this spreads to wifi then I'll be unhappy. Wasn't using USB myself.
Actually, that's a good point. The new SDK references a shared folder on a PC or Mac that Apps will have access to. While that is more convenient for some apps (like iWork), the wi-fi scheme with Calibre right now is superior for me, at least for Stanza...I don't have to be near my computer to use it.
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:14 PM   #11
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If this spreads to wifi then I'll be unhappy. Wasn't using USB myself.
Yeah, hell, I didnt even try to transfer using USB...
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:17 PM   #12
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http://twitter.com/jurewitz/status/8550289908
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Simple point of fact — there are no public APIs for an iPhone app to sync via the USB cable.
Michael Jurewitz is an Apple guy.
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:53 PM   #13
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why is the absence on iPad huge? I cant think of anything you would use it for that cant be achieved by the 'proper' transfer methods.
But what if this is the first step in making the only "proper" transfer methods being via the various iStores? I think that's the concern.
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:12 PM   #14
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But what if this is the first step in making the only "proper" transfer methods being via the various iStores? I think that's the concern.
No surprises. Apple wants you to buy from the iTunes store, and do any transfer via the iTunes application.
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:55 PM   #15
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Update on the story from the iPhone Explorer Dev:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/tech...-transfer.html

Quote:
Chris Devor of myPod Apps, which built the iPhone Explorer program Stanza used for USB file transfer, had this to say about why Apple might've objected to Stanza's approach to USB file transfer (emphasis added):

From an iPhone app development standpoint, you get access to two directories: (1) your app's sandbox folder and (2) the DCIM directory for access to pictures and such. On a non-jailbroken iPhone, iPhone Explorer can access the DCIM directory, but not the apps sandbox. So we made a subfolder in the DCIM directory a common ground or shared folder for the two programs.

At the time we began doing this we figured that we were in the iPhone app development "gray zone" and this was something that Apple hadn't officially made a stance upon. Once Good Reader topped the charts around the world, it drew a bunch of attention from people and Apple figured we were up to no good. After a series of e-mails back and forth between the iPhone app developers and an Apple correspondent, the conclusion was as follows: (1) the iPhone apps must remove access to the DCIM directory (Apple claims this is in violation of the iPhone App Developer Agreement), and (2) the developers should not blame (point the finger at) Apple for being forced to remove access to the folder (hence the lack of explanation from Stanza).
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