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Be one of the first to test and give feedback on Safari Books Online’s beta iPad app.

Safari Books Online has been working hard on a new iPad app. We have our beta version almost finished and would like your feedback via a 45 minute face-to-face meeting at our Sebastopol office on August 9th or at our San Francisco office on August 5th, 10th, or 12th.

If you are selected to participate, we’ll happily establish access for you to Safari Books Online for one month. If you currently already have access to Safari Books Online, we’ll extend your existing subscription by 30-days.

If you are willing and available to spend about 45 minutes exploring the new app and talking about your experience while using the beta iPad app in our offices, we’d like to hear from you. Please provide us with your contact information by completing this form

We are currently scheduling appointments on the following days and locations:

• San Francisco, California: August 5th, 10th and 12th
• Sebastopol, California: August 9th

Space is limited so please respond promptly to ensure a spot on the beta iPad app feedback panel.

Tags: beta iPad app, iPad, Safari Books Online,

134 Responses to “Safari Books Online’s Beta iPad App – Testers Wanted!”

    • Frank Merrow

      I second this request . . . while an iPad is a likely purchase for me, I have a iTouch now. Every time I’ve tried the safaribooks site I’ve been disappointed, but I keep trying every now and then hoping for a change. Something about “no Java” if I remember the error correctly . . . I would be agreeable to an app instead of a browser experience.

      FWIW: a lot of positive reviews on how great the new safaribooks app works on either an iPad or Droid phone would cause me to immediately purchase that device.


  1. Miro Adamy

    I would *love* to try it out – just bought iPad last week, unfortunately it is a long drive from Ottawa, Canada.

    Any indication when the app would available for wider audience / Enterprise subscribers ?


    • Safari Books Online

      Our iPad app should be ready in July. I will let our product team know that you are interested in trying it out before the release in July.

      • Sithu Aung

        I would also like to try it out before the release.


    • Matt

      I got an iPad last week and began reading Safari books on it a couple of days ago.

      The first thing that struck me was the clunkiness of reading via the iPad’s browser (on a desktop one can use the mousewheel to move through the book; on the iPad one can’t swipe, but has to instead click left/right page buttons, and the we page doesn’t even fit within the iPad’s borders in portrait mode!)

      So I’d be very keen to immediately try and provide feedback on any iPad app that makes this process smoother. I have a valid Safari account via my employer.

      If I can somehow participate in this program, please let me know. Thanks.

  2. Randy clark

    Would love to test and provide feedback. Bought the iPad for an online reader and have been anticipating a safari app. Cannot come to the conference, but would provide good beta feedback on user experience.

    • Scott Marrone

      I too signed up for the beta over a month ago and have not heard anything sense. I know we are all eagerly awaiting this app to improve functionality on the Ipad. Your initial info stated a July release and I can only assume your slipping the initial target date. Do we have a revised timeline so us subscribers can stop hounding the message boards and bugging your staff?

      • Safari Books Online

        Good suggestion, Scott. We are finalizing plans for our beta iPad app right now. Due to certain limitations beyond our control, we will have to limit the beta to no more than 100 members. We will be sending out messages in the next week to notify interested users about whether or not they have been accepted to participate in our beta. The actual beta period will start in early August.

  3. jules

    I have an iPad on back order due to arrive by the end of June and also cannot make it to conference (I live in the UK) but would love to beta test the app (it was the hint of this coming that helped me decide to buy an iPad).


  4. Tristan Blease

    This is exciting news. I cancelled my Safari Books account because I was frustrated by lack of support on the iPhone OS platform. I carry my iPad around with me everywhere and access to Safari Books via it will definitely see me coming back on as a subscriber if the app proves to be solid.


  5. Dominic

    iPad owner from Australia here who is also looking forward to this app. Would beta test thoroughly if I could

  6. Dean

    It’s great to see that the iPad app is close at hand. Have you thought about expanding the beta to folks outside of CA. You could the do a video chat and get the same info as you would with a face to face. Just a thought but either way looking forward to the release.

  7. Phillip Oldham

    Please can you make sure the iPad app is available in the UK in addition to the US? I know there’s an iPhone app but it’s US only. :(

  8. Hongyu

    Might be the best excuse for me to buy an ipad in July.

  9. Henrik Vendelbo

    I would love to try it on iPad or iPhone before release. Live in London. Please put me on the list.

  10. Lance Herron

    I’d love to try this app as well! I’ve been checking constantly for any updates on when this would be available, and am very excited about a possible July release.

  11. Greg King

    Hi, what’s the ETA for public release of iPad App?

  12. Dan Cormack

    I am an owner of an iPad (3G) and am a current annual subscriber to SafariBooks Online. I would like to have access to the app prior to release if possible. I am willing to submit feedback etc.

  13. Mike richins

    I just got the iPad 32G and would love to test the beta version of safari books.

  14. Tyler

    If I access Safari Books online through my IEEE computer socity account will I be able to use the app?

  15. Derek Trickett

    Can we assume by the avoidance of the first question that there will not be an iPhone version of the app?

  16. tom

    I would like to try out the new Ipad app. I’ve just bought an ipad to enable reading tech books from safari library

  17. Jason

    Will your app allow us to read books on our bookshelf without Internet access (i.e. download or cache books to read)?

    I am planning to buy an iPad and this will make a difference on whether to get WiFi-only or 3G as well. I would very much like to get the cheaper one!

  18. AG

    Hi, I signed up for the program. How long does it typically take to get an invite?

  19. HD

    Just signed up for this today. Looking forward to an invite. Thank you!

  20. Bruce Floyd

    I am in Florida but signed up for the beta in the off chance that I would get an opportunity to help test. What are the odds that I’ll get picked?

  21. Andrew

    Hello, I knew this was in the works (I received my iPad the first week the 3g was out) and have been anticipating this app very much as I am becoming a regular user of safari books. I think that the beta signup has closed but I would still be glad to join in if possible, if not I will just wait for the full release.

    • Nick

      Looks like I missed the sign up as well… Any chance you’ll let a few extras slip in?

  22. Matt Williams

    I would love to do your beta test. We develop and test iPad / iPhone apps for our own companies and would love a reader for your site. Sign me up if I am not too late.

  23. Jen

    Any chance to still get in on the beta test? I go from construction job to construction job all day and could truly benefit from a solid iPad office live app to access our documents we share via office live (punch lists, work plans, order status, etc). I would be happy to provide feedback on making your product successful in the small business world. Also an ex-big 5 management consultant which allows me to critique from a methodology and system testing perspective.

  24. Will

    What is the timeframe to actually release this app? I thought it was meant to be released in July, but you seem to still be signing up beta-testers.

    • Safari Books Online

      We are finalizing plans for our beta iPad application right now. We will be sending out messages in the next week to notify interested users about whether or not they are part of our beta. The actual beta period will take place in early August.

  25. Dan wayland

    Thank you for working on this. This will be great!
    I currently use my pdf tokens to download chapters to read on the bus ride to and from work. Time consuming.
    Please consider a download book feature.
    That would be fantastic if I could download books or chapters conveniently from the app and read them offline.

  26. Andrew Ebing

    Would you consider remote beta testers? I’m a long time user of Safari and an iPhone/iPad developer based in the UK. I’m familiar with the Ad Hoc provisioning and loading process. Would be happy to suppy my iPad UDID to be included in the provisioning profile.

  27. NL

    I think it’d be not as pleasant of an experience if it were to be used on an iPhone/iPod Touch as the available viewing pane is rather restricted from my personal experience with my iPod Touch vs. my iPad for the iBook. We’ll see what can come up with for SafariBooksToGo (for the 3G/4G-ers).


  28. amit jain

    Please make the app available on itunes and then start getting the feedback from audience itself. I badly want the app. I bought an Ipad just for reading books and I would love to see a safari app right now :-)

  29. Joseph Bouhadana

    I am in Miami Florida but signed up for the beta in the off chance that I would get an opportunity to help test.
    When is the app supposed to be released to production?
    I am a coporate subscriber with 11 accounts in your program.


  30. Mat

    I was a safari books paid subscriber until I got the ipad. I will renew by subscription if this app allows for some form of offline bookshelf – even with a 3G device, i find myself in out of coverage areas often enough… and I imagine all those with no 3G would be highly pleased with this too! I know that a few colleagues at the office would likely buy the app and get subscriptions if this app makes it out with an offline feature!

  31. Scott Marrone

    Do we have any updates on the timeline for the release of this app. Last I heard was the middle of August. I am eagerly awaiting this app, in fact it is the only reason I am maintaining my subscription.

    • Nick

      I cancelled my subscription today. It was set to renew tomorrow, but with the lack of answers on this forum I wasn’t going to shell out another $42 to wait. The website is useless in my opinion unless you have dual screens or really like alt-tabbing a lot. An iPad version with or without offline viewing would make the monthly subscription worth while. I know I can view stuff via Safari on the iPad, but that too is a clunky work-around. Maybe I’ll be back once it’s released.

  32. Behrooz

    dito dito . . . i’m checking every day, a status update would be nice

  33. Lexcel

    I too am waiting! It would be very nice to have this app for my iPad. Items looking to see in this app are: faster response times on page turns, the ability to swipe for page turns and most importantly, the ability to have the pages fit within screen.

  34. Lonnie

    An update on the project would be great. I would also love to get involved with the Phase II of the beta test. Thanks in advance.

    • Clive

      I’ve been debating a subscription for a few months now and, with lots of other people, I’m waiting for the release of the iPad app. It seems like having off-line viewing capabilities in this app would be key for me because I use my iPad off line the majority of the time.

  35. Josh

    Offline reading is the killer feature here. Release the app! Let the community give you feedback! I could see this being a top app in iTunes…

  36. DaveP


    I have been checking the sites daily for any updates on the release of the ipad app.

    I am currently not an ipad owner but will certainly be getting one if I can have access to all the books and information I need conviniently on one device.

    As long as the app supports searching txt through multiple books and I am able to seamlessly view their content then I will certainly shell out the readies for an unlimited subscription.

  37. potatoes

    I have an iPad, and I am keenly waiting. There is simply no way for me to really benefit on a laptop with Safari, I use the iPad 99% of the time these days during my free time, which is when I’d be reading, and not working. When is this app coming out?

    • Safari Books Online

      This app will be ready in the coming weeks. We’ve just completed a round of beta testing and are currently working to incorporate the feedback from our users. Once complete, we’ll be submitting to Apple and working with them through the usual review process.

      In the meantime, the mobile version of our site is available at and soon we’ll be releasing an update that is optimized for higher-resolution smartphones.

  38. potatoes

    My problem is my iPad is not 3G, so using is a deal breaker. I need offline reading, which I am to assume is in the iPad app you’re working on.

  39. Søren

    I am really really really looking forward to this app..

    Can you in the meantime provide some screenshots?


  40. Stephen Price

    Are we there yet? It’s been two weeks… waiting ever so impatiently!
    Can we have an update please?


    • Frank

      Yeah, and the other thing they have been very quiet about is if the application will support off-line reading without expending my precious tokens . . . it isn’t clear or not if the lack of off-line reading would be a complete show stopper for me, but for those of us with WiFi only connections, it definitely diminishes the application significantly.

      Given they completely control the environment in the iPad, I’m hoping the application will support caching of some kind . . . however, I’m doubtful. I’m guessing the road blocks are not technological, but rather legal . . . when does a “copy” become a “copy” that needs to be paid for instead of a page the user is just reading?


  41. Charles

    I use the bookshelf through on my Ipad. Is there a mobile link that I can use through the IEEE Computer Society connection?

    I run into format issues with the Ipad and I just run it on HTML mode.


  42. Randy

    So I just today wondered if there was a Safari Library iPad app… looks like I can expect it very soon!

  43. DManG

    It’s October 7th… Any news on the app?

    Also I don’t think anyone asked this yet, but the app is free right?

  44. Kraz

    IF this is accurate I can’t wait !

    Diane-Safari, Employee, replied 2 months ago

    Offline mode for the Safari Books Online iPad app will allow you to store your books locally for when you don’t have an Internet connection.

    For bookshelf users, all the books in your bookshelf will be available for offline storage. The same 30 day book swapping rule applies.

    For library users, you will be able to store up to ten books at a time, and up to 30 books a month.

    Please let me know if you have further questions.

    Thank you and regards,

    Customer Service
    Safari Books Online

  45. Daniel

    Does any body else find it a little ironic that the Safari Books Online staff, whose service claims to “[Help] programmers meet key performance objectives,” can’t seem to meet a simple launch date? They can’t even seem to determine what launch date they’re aiming for. After six months of unforeseen delays, this is getting embarrassing. . .

    • David

      In Safari’s defense… there could be a number of legitimate reasons why the iPad app has been delayed. Perhaps the first round of testing revealed the need for more polish. Or the delay could be for external reasons, such as convincing publishers to accept yet another alternate delivery model for their content, or dealing with Apple and their notoriously hard-headed approach to app submission. I personally wonder if Apple may be balking at the name “Safari,” which they use for their web browser.

      In any case, I hope the app comes out soon, and I look forward to checking it out. I would love to have this level of “are we there yet?” anxiety and anticipation for one of my products. :)

    • Frank

      From what I’ve heard the Apple qualification gauntlet is very unpredictable. I’m guessing very little of their schedule is under their direct control at this point . . . it likely depends on Apple more than their own developers.

      I’m not saying you are right or wrong . . . I have no information either way. I am just saying that based on my reading, Apple can be difficult to deal with at times and will send an application back for rework for the most minor of issues.


      • Terry

        Some companies publicly announce when they have sent in their application with the AppStore, even before Apple even approves/denies their app. Take Rhapsody for example, they did it, although probably to earn public appeal had Apple rejected their app

      • Daniel

        That’s a valid point, I should cut them some slack. The anticipation is killing me though

    • Garth

      It’s actually a pretty complex application, at least if it’s done right. Yes, the wait has been frustrating, but only because this is such a potentially killer app. I’m waiting with bated breath!

    • Rob

      I was thinking the same thing.
      Guess it could be issues with Apple… They could hate using the word safari with anything other than the browser ;)

      If they provided more info on progress and why the delays, I think it would look a lot better… Most development projects have delays but delays without transparency make everyone look bad.

  46. Trevor

    I would love for Safari Books to release the App. I’ve been on the fence regarding whether to get the iPad now or wait for the second generation.

    I would definitely get the iPad as soon as Safari Books’ app became available.

  47. Mike

    As someone who signed up for Safari in April with an expectation of receiving the iPad app “soon”, I’d say their doing a piss poor job of managing this release and customer expectations. Lots of apologists here on behalf of Safari but very little from Safari themselves.

    • Joe

      I signed up for the same reason, however I opted for the monthly membership that way I can bail if the app gets delayed even further. The only catch is that I’ve actually been using the library for some of my projects and now I’m hooked, iPad or not :). The iPad will only make my experience a better one. Come on Apple hurry up!

  48. Garth

    All right, I’m officially going to hold my breath until this app is released, starting…now.

    If something horrible happens it’s all on you, Safari. Also, I’ve rigged up a dead-man switch to take down a litter of fluffy kittens when I collapse.

  49. Scott Bishop

    The majority of Safari’s subscribers are IT Professionals and the majority of the books offered through Safari are how to implement technology best practices. I don’t want to be a detractor, but it’s timeSafari’s development organization put the practices contained in the Safari library into action. Here’s what would help me and other subscribers on the site understand where you are in the development and help as professionals and technology influencers.

    1. The last official comment by on the iPad app by Safari was almost five months ago, its time that Safari steps up and annouces a release date. Saying anything is better than saying nothing because at least Safari controls the message.

    2. Open the Beta to more than small group of people who are physically able to meet with you in Silicon valley. It sounds more akin to a markering focus group verses than a technology beta. The closed beta strategy is so far behind the current push toward scrum, extreme programming, and JIT development methodologies that are driving todays technology innovators.


  50. Frank

    The app looks great.. You guys did an awesome job, and it has everything I would have expected….!!!

  51. Anonymous

    When is the app releasing? I wouldn’t mind using it even if it has bugs. Safari is aweful

  52. rob vandenbrink

    did this get pulled? the link provided doesn’t work, and a search of the app store doesn’t find it either …

  53. Frank Merrow

    So, when are you guys going to re-release this application?

    I missed the original beta so I don’t have even the initial version of the app. Web based on the iPad is “okay”, but requires me to be “on-line”, which isn’t always available to me.

    Anyway, from what I heard the first shot wasn’t “that bad” . . . when is a re-release due?


  54. Matt

    Please release this app! I don’t own an iPad but I will buy one if this comes out!

  55. Jenny

    very good information, i’m gonna get one on my ipad too in a few days. ;)

  56. Kbaez

    Would love to have safari books on my iPad. Currently a member and use it quite often for work. Would be a very nice addition, unfortunately ca is to far for me to go.

    Please let me know when it is officially release. Thx.

  57. Gucci Womens Sandals

    Do you have an ETA on the app release date? thank you

    • Safari Books Online

      The app is coming along and we’re in a private beta right now. We have not set a release date yet but I will let you know as soon as we have.


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