Safari Books Online (and off!): Safari to Go for Android, iPhone and iPad

I know that this is not the first post that I have opened with a reference to my O’Reilly addiction.  Yet for some reason, I can’t seem to love Safari like it seems that I should – and I’ve tried numerous times.  First I tried reading a book on my phone with the mobile site – because the content was not constrained by browser height, I found myself scrolling down the page, then advancing to the next page, then having to scroll back up – and given how few words can fit on a phone’s diminutive screen, this action had to be repeated so frequently that it took over focus from the book’s content (oh, and if you get your login wrong, it bounces you to the full site to retry, and doesn’t bounce back after, I just discovered).  I downloaded Safari To Go for iPad the moment it was released – I do not think the iPad makes a very good eReader, but it’s easier to lug around than my desktop, so I gave it a shot.  The videos I tried to watch got stuck, and the book I tried to read worked to a certain point, and then caused the app to crash every time I opened it, at which point I gave up and went back to my ePubs on my Nook Color.  Despite owning most titles that I am interested in as eBooks, I still maintain a Safari subscription – mostly as a way to search across titles that are likely also in my own private collection, and maintain wishlists and to-read lists which the main O’Reilly shop provides no facilities for.  I also watch the occasional video, which I am for some reason less likely to purchase outright – I think since I am less likely to re-watch or refer back to it as compared to an eBook.  Other than a brief mention in the opening of their July 2012 newsletter, it seems there was little fanfare surrounding this new release – no mention by @safaribooks, no update to the Mobile Apps page…really the only detail on the new release seems to be found in the App Store.  And the Android version is nowhere to be found on Google Play.  However, the iPad app looks like a massive improvement (though it did lose my page on the book I was reading for some reason) – the reading experience feels much improved, and the Offline Bookbag allows up to three books to be stored locally for reading without a network connection.  I look forward to giving Safari another try via this vastly improved interface (and the Android version when it materializes!) and maybe finally quitting the ePub habit!

5 Responses to Safari Books Online (and off!): Safari to Go for Android, iPhone and iPad
  1. Andrew Savikas Reply

    Thrilled you like the updated iPad app — we’re very proud of it! The Android app was ready to go, but we uncovered some nasty regression bugs and just couldn’t put it out without fixing them. The team has been working feverishly and we’ll release it as soon as possible. (And you’ll hear a bit more noise about all of the apps soon ….)

    • ishotjr Reply

      Awesome! :) Thanks for your comment! :) Any guess on the likelihood of the Android App being available on the Nook one day? :)

  2. roboo Reply

    I was excited about the android app coming out. We’ve waited a long time for this to come to android. I hope that it presents nice on my transformer prime.

    • ishotjr Reply

      I understand! :) I would love to hear your experience on the Prime after they get those bugs sorted and release the app! :)

  3. [...] to “Later this month”!); Safari Books Online CEO, Andrew Savikas explained the delay in a ...

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