UPDATE: Apple has Stanza App Remove DCIM Work-around for USB Sharing


UPDATE: PatternMusic reveals that the issue is (mis)use of the DCIM folder (digital camera image folder -- where your camera roll pictures are stored) to transfer non-image related files.

Apple, however, precludes apps from reading or writing data files to any other place except the app’s “sandbox” document folder through their developer agreement.

ORIGINAL: TechCrunch reports that the latest update to the Amazon-owned Stanza eBook reader [Free - iTunes link], version 2.1, removed USB sharing as demanded by Apple's iTunes App Store:

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.

I’m sure Apple has good reasons to prevent people from being able to transfer files to iPhone and iPod Touch devices using a USB cable, and I believe this isn’t the first time they’ve asked developers of apps with this or similar features to remove them for new users. That said, I’m not 100% certain which rules were broken here, and since Apple requested Lexcycle not to discuss specifics we’re left guessing why Cupertino had an issue with the USB syncing features.

It will be interesting to see if a future Stanza update allows for sharing via iDisk/WebDav or Email, like other apps do to get around the sandbox.

Existing Stanza owners who want to keep the feature should, of course, ignore the update. Give us your take in the comments!

(Thanks to Fassy for the tip!)

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

UPDATE: Apple has Stanza App Remove DCIM Work-around for USB Sharing


I made this diicseon 2 weeks ago, i ended up with 15 mbp with 256gb ssd and high resolution because i'll be using it for 3d modelling and adobe cs5 alot. the only down side i'd say is it abit heavy to carry around. wanted a mb air bt doesn't have the specs i need.

Updated the post. Turns out using the DCIM folder for anything other than its intended use (camera roll images) is forbidden under the SDK, and some apps were doing just that to get around the sandbox.

There are a lot of apps that allow sharing into their own sandbox via a built in web-server, so I hope this restriction does not spread to those apps as well.
QuickOffice and the recently reviewed Qik Video come to mind.

Yeah, Amidio and Intua's Music apps were recently forced to remove a similar function which allowed them to cross-communicate (Noise.io, Hexatome, and Beatmaker). This really sucks since this work around is what makes some of these apps trully useful on a mobile device. If I have to upload my file to a computer then open the second app and download the file back to my device it's really annoying plus requires me to have a computer with me to do just that.

@thekevinmonster I also heard something about a shared folder in passing, but no details about how it would work. I wouldn't be surprised if it was severely limited in its utility, as giving 3rd party app developers full access to a shared folder would be so out of character for Apple ;-)

I think Jobs (Satan himself) is over stepping the way an owner uses their device they bought and paid for.
In fact I thought Jobs died a couple years ago! or maybe he is walking dead.

Wow again. I nlmoarly rule out the iPhone [mostly 4 low light, non-wide angle, and no image stabilization]. But this was great. I haven't tried iMovie on my iPad1, but it looks like worth a try. Also, when are you FINALLY coming to visit New York and shoot some here. LV I would buy you burgers and Fosters beers in our suburb of NYC and you could crash here [30min from NYC] . And we'd love you to guest star in a BedVlog. Anyhow, come to the biggest Apple sometime soon. Zork Sweetie