Stanza 3.1 on an old iPhone 3G

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I think that the very first application I installed on my old iPhone 3G was the Stanza e-book reader (please note that I link to the Wikipedia article and not to the application website – already non-existing – or to the iTunes App Store application – which may disappear at any moment).

It is a fantastic, fast, responsive and user-friendly e-book reader application mainly focused on the ePub format. However, it is dying.

The facts

I have an old iPhone 3G, more than two years old and still honorably working and earning its daily electricity share. But it’s become clearly obsolete, and the latest iOS version it can run is 4.2.1. Up to now, Stanza version 3.1 was running smoothly.

Some time ago Lexcycle (the company behind Stanza) was bought by Amazon. This meant that Stanza development was abandoned, yes, but it still was running smoothly.

Then out came iOS 5. It broke Stanza.

The drama

As Stanza was not running on iOS 5, Amazon decided to upgrade it to version 3.2 so that it could run on the most modern devices. Unfortunately, the update broke the application for us poor iOS 4 users.


To make matters worse, I also have an iPad running iOS 5, so I was also interested in running Stanza on it.

I was divided! Should I run Stanza 3.1 on the old iPhone 3G or Stanza 3.2 on the still-not-outdated iPad?

The solution

Passionate users like me had already moved and created a support request and a Facebook group. These two sources have been invaluable in not feeling like a strange animal…

First of all, an old version of Stanza 3.1 had to be recovered. I’ve read somewhere that for non-jailbroken iPhones it must be from the same device it was installed on, so I had to revert to Time Machine on the Mac. At any rate, other user-uploaded versions were not working for me.


With a copy of Stanza 3.1, I downloaded a copy of i-FunBox and ran it from a Windows virtual machine.


I just plugged in the iPhone, had it connected to the virtual machine and installed the Stanza 3.1 application on it.




Now I could read e-books on my iPhone using my favourite reader application.

The consequences

Nothing is perfect, and each time I synchronize my iPhone with iTunes the newer Stanza 3.2 application is installed. The effort of redoing the installation of Stanza 3.1 through i-FunBox on a Windows virtual machine has to be re-done each time.

But for me this process is outweighted by being able to use Stanza again.

Acerca de Pablo
Un matemático-informático con demasiadas inquietudes y poco tiempo.