Apple forces removal of USB sharing from e-book app

Lexcycle, maker of the popular e-book reader Stanza for the iPhone and iPod touch, recently released an update for the app that killed a popular feature, reportedly at Apple’s request. In the App Store release notes for Stanza version 2.1, it states “removed the ability to share books via USB as required by Apple.” Previously, the feature allow users to transfer books in the eReader or ePub formats—the latter being used for Apple’s upcoming iBookstore—to their iPhone or iPod touch using a USB cable. TechCrunch reports that in email correspondence with Lexcycle, Apple indeed demanded the feature be removed, but the company stopped short of explaining why, stating the it was “forbidden from discussing the specifics of our conversations with Apple on this matter.” The timing of the update is curious, as Apple just last week announced its plans to enter the e-book business via its new iBooks app for the iPad and accompanying iBookstore; Lexcycle itself is owned by Amazon.com, which purchased the app developer in April 2009.