O’Reilly Everywhere: Safari to Go for Android

My dream of cloud-based reading came a step closer today when availability of the Safari To Go Android app was announced on Safari Books Online’s Official Blog.  The Android app was noticeably absent on the July 18th launch date quoted in their July 2012 newsletter (the online version of which appears to have changed to “Later this month”!); Safari Books Online CEO, Andrew Savikas explained the delay in a comment on our earlier post, saying “we uncovered some nasty regression bugs and just couldn’t put it out without fixing them.”  But the bugs appear to have been fixed, since the app is now available for download!

Safari to go for Android is pleasant to use on both phone and tablet form factors; in each case the amount of data being transmitted and displayed seems appropriate, resulting in a snappy, uncluttered UI.  The reading experience on the phone is vastly improved as compared to the mobile version of the site; movement between pages is fluid, with no scrolling required, though a rather disruptive “Retrieving Content…” message pops up on a regular basis – seemingly between sections – which seems like it could be obviated with a logical pre-fetch given the linear nature of reading…i.e. chances are I’m going to be needing that page soon…especially if progress Read More…

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 Read More…

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