Stanza Replacement on iPad with iOS 5

Discussion in 'iPad Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by needlz, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. needlz, Oct 12, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011

    needlz macrumors member

    May 14, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland

    Since Stanza isn't working anymore on iOS 5, please help me to find a good alternative to it with following functions:

    - min. PDF and ePub Support
    - nice preview (with covers) of the books
    - ability to view the description of the books
    - upload via Calibre etc.

    I've tested following applications and even if some are quite good, none of them have all the functions and style which Stanza had.

    Btw, for more info see:

    PS: I will edit this list based on your information
  2. Ashwood11 macrumors 65816

    Nov 10, 2010
    Read first! Please use the appropriate forum or subforum

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  3. forum user macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2008
    The epub file generated by calibre can be dragged into iTunes. Bluefire will pick it up from there. It is awkward but doable.

    Still, my feeling is BlueFire is not as comfortable as Stanza. For example switching pages is slower and interrupts somehow the reading experience.

    - Olaf
  4. MaxBurn macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2010
    Change your page turn to cut, seems to be the fastest.

    Bluefire is the closest I have found. Saw it mentioned on another forum. Agreed it isn't as easy to work with with quick settings changes but it works fine.

    I even tried ibooks again, man it's terrible. Sort by author doesn't even work.
  5. forum user macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2008
    I have tried "cut", that will produce a sort of single flicker, and my eyes tire with the brightness change.
    I am least unhappy ;) with "slide"
  6. NixS macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2009
    Try uBooks, but calibre doesn't support yet.
  7. RayWilliamsII macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2010
    Stanza Replacement - ShuBook

    I found the perfect replacement for me. ShuBook by Ambibma Ltd. has nearly every feature of Stanza (that I used) and maybe a few it didn't. One drawback is no support for PDF, but ePub format is spot on. (You can convert your PDF's to ePub in Calibre anyway.) It has lock orientation, auto lock disable, background and text color customization, touch+hold copy and define, table of content navigation and bookmarks. It even lets you add your own true type fonts. The app is free to try and has a $1.99 in app purchase to remove ads and enable iTunes and advanced features. It was last updated on 10/14/2011 and with the in-app purchase it should have much better support than Stanza had over the last year. Although not explicitly stated, it is iOS5 compatible.

    Note: In the App Store, ShuBook first appears to be a Chinese only app. If you read the full description, it definitely supports English as well. (Basically supporting both vertical and horizontal languages)

    ShuBook iTunes Page -
  8. MaxBurn macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2010
    ShuBook = does this support drag and drop files in itunes? I dropped in an epub and didn't see it appear in the book list. Not really clear if "package A" allows this, seems to be talking about exporting files.

    uBooks = thanks for mentioning this, I actually used this back on my Asus win mobile device. First glance is the interface appears more flexible than bluefire.
  9. RayWilliamsII, Oct 14, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011

    RayWilliamsII macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2010
    Dragging into ShuBook Doocuments area in iTunes works perfectly fine for me. If you are dragging them into iTunes and not seeing them in ShuBook, open ShuBook select Download and Custom. There is a section explicitly named iTunes ShuBook Documents.
    Like Stanza, ShuBook doesn't have allot of documentation and just takes some trial an error to figure out.

    PS... I have Package A so I cannot tell you how the app acts different from not having the In-App purchase. The Package A doc in ShuBooks states that there are differences with backing up without it.
  10. needlz, Oct 15, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011

    needlz thread starter macrumors member

    May 14, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Thanks for all the answers. ShuBook seems to be the best alternative, I didn't download it yet but it seems to be really good and I'll have a look at it in a few hours.

    Here is an english info page:

    PS: It does have OPDS Catalog (Calibre) and PDF (besides ePUB) support, cool.

    Edit: Wrong, only "EPUB, TXT, PDB/uPDB" are supported :(
  11. forum user, Oct 15, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011

    forum user macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2008
    Just downloaded ShuBooks. Inside the app it gives a warning about iOS5 and suggest to wait with the update to iOS5, dated today. :cool:

    And I do like the page amination. Only, the ebook that opens in BlueReader does not work in ShuBook. Will see why that is.

    - Olaf

    Cannot explain why but after recreating the book in calibre and downloading into ShuBook it opens fine.
  12. tonyunreal macrumors regular


    Feb 25, 2010
    ShuBook gets my vote, works with Asian characters just fine.
  13. dangerd macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2011
    i2Reader The New Stanza

    I have switched to i2Reader. Surprised that nobody has mentioned this one.
    I have used Stanza for years and it has always been my favorite. i2Reader
    is as good and in some cases better than Stanza.

    You can customize almost everything, not just text color, but color of main
    text separately from headline text and italics, footnotes etc.

    You can choose from a lot of fonts, I did not count but would estimate
    maybe 60 or so.

    You can choose font size by slider or specify by point size.

    You can choose background color, overlay a picture with slider controlled

    You can save unlimited styles you make or use the pre-configured ones.
    Switch in Book while reading by double tapping the page.

    There is a custom status line setup which shows any combo of time,
    progress bar, page number or percentage of book read and all this can be
    separately color and size controlled. Or removed completely.

    Full Screen Reading option.
    Animate-able page turns or the ability to turn them off, also the ability for

    tap zones if you don’t like sliding the page and the ability to Define where
    the tap zones are on the page.

    Sleep mode or Not.

    Orientation Lock for both directions, you choose or let it rotate.

    The library can have indexes (the letters to quickly get down large library
    pages like Stanza).

    Large cover icons or small.

    Auto grooping of books, by metadata.

    Option to open book at startup or not.

    Choice of TXT encoding… the list is Sooooooo Long!

    You can Sort the library by Author, Title, Sequence, Sequence #, Publisher,
    Publishing Series, Generas. One at a time or all at once. Although you have
    to go into Prefrence tab to change. I just sort. “Author, Title,Sequence,
    Sequence #” so everything is in order.

    In the library there is no author folders like Stanza, but with the sorting
    turned on everything in the list shows up together if your metadata is correct.



    A built in web browser.

    OPDS Libraries. (they put in Feedbooks, you add whatever you want.)

    Shared Libraries to use with Calibre and i2Librian.
    A built in FTP server to upload books to your device.
    HTTP Server to upload books to your device.

    Dictionaries!!! You can add as many as you want (StarDict format), and use
    one at a time or all at once, you choose.

    Supports bookmarks with names, has a page with history of last 5 books
    opened and new books added and a button called “Bookmarks in Library” so
    you can get into whichever book you want to read where you left off.

    The one bug I have found is that when visiting hyperlinked footnotes I have
    trouble using the link back, but I always bookmark before following and
    then use the bookmark to get back, I just call the bookmark “q” every time
    and overwrite it.

    Also no Sharing function from in the app.

    All in all I will say this beats the hell out of Bluefire and all the rest

    of the readers out there, but I will miss Stanza.

    One more thing it’s $4.99 U.S.D from the app store.

    I have posted how to install libraries here:

  14. needlz thread starter macrumors member

    May 14, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Thanks for the reply dangerd. i2Reader has been mentioned, but I didn't look into it because the developers seemed to be quite inactive :) How is the stability with iOS5?
    I will now have a look at report back.
  15. MaxBurn macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2010
    Bluefire really annoys me the way it opens up to the library instead of the book you were reading last.

    Still enjoying ureader though.
  16. Donka macrumors 68030


    May 3, 2011
    I'm in the same boat with regards to a Stanza replacement. I'm using Bluefire just now and quite like but just noticed a deal breaker issue for me - it doesn't support small graphics denoting card suits in the poker books I read. Others do so this is something specific to this reader.
    I've downloaded Shubook and uBooks and will give them a test this evening.

    readMe actually looks like a nice alternative although I have emailed the developer with some questions regarding in app brightness altering and support for importing books via iTunes USB sharing.

    My main key requirements are:

    • Ability to save a custom night mode scheme
    • One touch access to day/night mode
    • In app brightness control
    • Library with view to current read status of book
    • Ability to change font size & page size
    • iTunes USB sharing
    • Simple or disable page transition animations

    Stanza just got so much right that more developers should be looking to emulate this imho.
  17. MaxBurn macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2010
    Developer question but is there an API for an app to have backlight level control? I think all the apps that have it are actually faking it in app with darkening the colors. It isn't really enough and I usually go in and floor the brightness slider. Stanza is one that was faking it, can't quickly tell if others are or not.
  18. saoir macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2007
    I am sussing out both i2Reader and ShuBooks right now.


    I like ShuBooks as it is being actively developed, but I am finding it impossible to download eBooks from DropBox. I have emailed them and they have replied but their instructions don't work.

    It also has a hidden purchase issue - which is not mentioned when you check it out on iTunes and buy it for 'free'. 1.49 or something to provide certain enhancements. A bit dodgy if you ask me.


    The dictionaries are a b1tch to install... I haven't managed yet and there is no help.
    The Launch page plays a sound (yuk!) and has way to much info on it.
  19. IrishVixen, Oct 18, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011

    IrishVixen macrumors 68020


    Jun 20, 2010
    Does i2Reader play nicely with Dropbox? That's one thing I couldn't quite tell from what I read.

    Bluefire consistently freezes my iPad when I close the app--freezes to the point where only a hard reboot brings the screen back to life. Could be a JB conflict (iPad 1, 4.3.3); reinstalling the app with nothing in the library still doesn't fix it, so I'm moving on. Stanza's fine for now, but obviously won't be when I give in and load 5.0.
  20. MrNetwork macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2011
    Shubooks is OK but it's no Stanza, and I won't be using it. The biggest disadvantage is it can't import the metadata from Calibre like Stanza did.
  21. Donka macrumors 68030


    May 3, 2011

    Check the in app purchases list on the left hand side in iTunes when you purchase. You can easily see this to determine if there are in app purchases for any app.


    Bluefire on my iPad 2 under IOS 5 is rock solid with no crashing. I'm not jailbroken.
  22. saoir macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2007
    Shubooks customer support is excellent I must say. They gave me instructions to tackle the Dropbox problem and it has now sorted itself out. I believe it was just a glitch. Once I downloaded an eBook from a web page I went back to Dropbox and it works fine now.
  23. Donka macrumors 68030


    May 3, 2011
    Has anyone tried out readMe yet?
    This seems to tick a lot of the right boxes without throwing in too many complicated options. The only thing it lacks it seems is a brightness option but the dev says this is a restricted API so I have asked about doing what the other apps do i.e. darken the colours to give the impression of a lower brightness.
  24. saoir macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2007
    Ah I see it now.

    But it is not clear to a regular visitor the App store imho. Also what the heck is "Package A" ? :confused:

    However their customers support seems very responsive and I expect they will iron this out.
  25. APlotdevice macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    Yes, Bluefire does not work on jailbroken devices. One of the developers who posts on on the forum has said they are aware of this problem and would look into it.

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