Posted on by & filed under Product Updates & Tips.

Safari To Go 2.0 has been available for almost two months and we have been busy working on the app. and incorporating feedback we’ve received from our subscribers. We have released 5 updates so far and have another one on the way.

Check out some of the recent updates:

  • Improved reading experience in offline mode
  • More folder control
  • Ability to add videos to your favorites folders
  • Support of new format that increases the clarity of screenshots in videos
  • Clearer messaging indicating when a book is being added to your bookbag
  • Book-specific content fixes have been made
  • Improved user experience for managing books on your bookshelf
  • A book placed in the bookbag remains accessible offline, even when user has logged out
  • Ability to delete bookmarks
  • Viewing options persist across books
  • Ability to use strong passwords, including those with special characters like # & !
  • Improved reliability

Check out the App Store for frequent updates to the STG app. We will continue to respond to customer requests and issues by posting new builds. We currently have plans to improve bookmarking, support 3g access and provide a larger offline bookbag for our library subscribers. 
If you have any feedback or comments, we are listening:

Tags: Safari Books Online, safari to go,

23 Responses to “Safari To Go Update – July 12, 2011”

  1. PatrickI

    Thanks and great job with the frequent updates!
    Question: why do I frequently have to re-log into the app almost every time I launch the app on a new day? Is this intentional, or an oversight? Is that level of security really necessary? Can we have the option to store our login info in preferences?
    Thanks again.

    • patrickI

      So it has been exactly two months since I submitted this post and asked a question. Absolutely no response to my question, and no new updates of Safari To Go, and no new news about Safari To Go on your blog. Enough of people trying to be polite and encouraging. A silver platter is being dropped into the hands of SafariBooksOnline, with literally millions upon millions of iOS devices out there and your target audience being technically inclined people who pay a high price out-of-pocket to be your customer. 18 months or so since you first announced the app, all you still have available is a beta demo version?

      • patrickI

        So three days after my last post there is a new version on the App Store that fixes the repeat log-in issue. Good job. But man is the app slow – I don’t know if I’m supposed to be staring at a blank windows or if something is loading and I’m supposed to wait…so I start pressing anywhere on the screen and it feels like the app froze…and then finally the screen fills in with the “new releases”.

  2. PatrickI

    Thanks for working on the larger offline bookbag and the 3G access. I understood completely your reasoning for getting the initial version out without these features, but at this point in practical use it’s a huge limitation. It feels like a demo version. How many times have we customers have needed needed to quickly reference a book or feel like curling up with a technical book, but instead getting a big screen telling us the app is currently useless even though I am in perfect 3G range. How many times have we had to decide before a super long flight the one and only one single book we want to read. The huge advantage to devices like the kindle is that you can pack a whole library with you and decide later what you are in the mood to read – so its ridiculous that we can’t do that on a multi-app ipad. I know you know all of this and are working on it, but I just wanted to again stress the importance of adding these features. Thanks again!

    • patrickI

      So it has been exactly two months since I submitted this post. Absolutely no new updates of Safari To Go addressing these issues, and absolutely no new news about Safari To Go on your blog. Enough of people trying to be polite and encouraging. In this day an age when every other reader out there can store multiple books offline, read each book (yes, pdf quality) with fast page-turning speed, AND download the books off of 3G, there is absolutely no valid reason (without SafariBooksOnline keeping us updated on the technical issues) for SafariToGo to not have these features when iOS provides you with the interface and the iPad has more-than-capable hardware. You still hoping PhoneGap will catch up to a native solution? What’s going on? I thought you had revamped your leadership and hired people specifically to take care of this. Why should anyone care? Because many of us pay a high out-of-pocket subscription fee to be your customer.

      • patrickI

        So three days later after my last post there is a new version on the App Store. But still no mention about 3G access or even just the larger offline bookbag.

  3. Eric Wright

    Thanks for the update guys. It’s good to hear you are actively working on improving the app. I second Patrick’s comment but from what I understand there’s a significant amount of work involved in revamping the Session API’s for this. All we can do is be patient.

    • PatrickI

      I assume that the 3G access would be the more difficult feature to implement (based on the way pages are loaded)? If true, then maybe just implementing the larger offline bookbag first would be helpful so we don’t have to decide on a single book before leaving wifi range.
      After that, maybe implement 3G features in stages, such as initially being able to browse the catalog and table of contents even though we can’t read the book yet, followed by maybe downloading individual chapters offline (if 3G page turning performance is the issue).
      But yes, all we can do is be patient, and thankful that Safari Books is actively working on it.

      • Eric Wright

        My comment about the session API was based on feedback I received from customer service. I’m not sure the reasons for limiting the offline bookbag. I’m primarily reading where I have Wifi so it’s not as big a deal to me. The performance on page loads is not great however. I would think some forward caching or buffering would be in order. A big pet peeve I have is the need to reload the page every time I return to the app which further adds to the sluggishness. That and the lack of progress indicator when a page is loading. I do hope they can resolve all of these issues soon. Thankfully the black screen of death is gone.

  4. Jim Mitchell

    So when do we get an Android version. Sick of hearing about the Jesus Pad.

    • Eric Wright

      iPad is by far a much larger audience so it makes sense to get the app working for that first from a business standpoint. I would think once Safari Books works out the kinks with iPad they would work on Android next.

      • Shaun

        Hmm that’s strange… Android books are at the top of Sarari’s most read/accessed books. They should be working on the two clients concurrently. I mean.. their core business revolves around disseminating books electronically. Ignoring Android at this stage is ridiculous.

  5. Andre

    I am using STG on an iPad (1st gen), the performances is not great. Please improve the performance.

  6. Joseph Webb

    It appears as of recently the app’s offline mode does not launch books for me as of the last update. And overall access to books through the app while online seems sluggish.

  7. Guy

    Seems like people are being overly polite about the current status of this app, given that we are all obviously paying customers. I bought my iPad last November, the day after the first version came out, as it was the “killer app” for the iPad for me. The initial version had some flaws, and was pulled from the app store. This spring, a lot of promises were made about how it was going to be done right this time. Obviously this was not the case. This app was once again implemented very poorly. It’s pretty much unusable. Going to a new page can take up to 10 seconds to appear. I just tried to open it without a wifi connection and it refused to open at all, giving me a message about no internet connection. Well, duh! That’s the whole point of an offline book bag!

    And as others have mentioned, the whole point of an app like this is the offline books! A limit of one book is ridiculous. I’m very dissapointed with the progress on this app. Can’t you find a decent developer, or is management hamstringing their efforts to create a decent app? How about just opening up the APi and let someone else create a good app? I’m sure enough people would want it I would be very tempted to take on the project myself. Surely it could not be any worse than the unusable app we have now?

    • Cody

      I agree 100% with Guy. After over a year we still have an app that arguably isn’t even market-quality. And it really is a very simple application. I suspect there is some fundamental problem with the API’s and/or licensing complication with book formats, but at some point someone has to take responsibility for the results.

      • Gordon McGregor

        I agree totally that the previous version was terrible. This version seems quite usable – I don’t see long delays, pages load quickly, offline book bag works fine if you allow the book time to download first.

        Network performance must have a large impact – maybe it could have better caching in the app.

      • renodino

        Also must agree. After installing this app, I downloaded and dropped a book into offline folder…only to discover it takes *much* longer to navigate than the online version. And the apparent requirement for wifi connection for “offline” reading is a complete oxymoron. (Yes, I did let the book fully cache…at least, thats what the little dialog box said). Very frustrating; I was hoping to read this book on an upcoming flight…guess I’ll look for a Kindle solution instead.

        Oh, and there’s a definite UX issue w/ long URLs in a page; you get stuck with an “invisible” scrollbar that interferes with turning pages.

      • renodino

        Update: after fiddling, I found the probable issue w/ slow navigation of offline content. When I turn off wifi, the navigation performs much better…but I lose a handful of the little icons at the top of the page. As near as I can tell, when the wifi is enabled, the app is trying to refresh something for those icons. Which still strikes me as a broken offline app. But hopefully the Safari devs can now just shutdown those icons in offline mode ? At least it’ll be usable for air travel.