Posted on by & filed under Product Updates & Tips.

The original Safari Books Online mobile site was built before the real explosion in smartphones, and when many mobile visitors came from decidedly lightweight mobile browsers. iOs and Android have changed all that, and with the vast majority of visitors coming from smartphones and tablets with modern (i.e., Webkit) browsers and touch screens, we’ve made some long-overdue changes to our mobile site.

We’ve updated with more finger-friendly styling and navigation, a cleaner reading interface, and better integration with site features like bookmarks, notes and tags. Here’s a very brief tour of some highlights.

The main screen once you’re logged in provides quick access to the last title viewed, as well as bookmarks, folders, and recent searches, with a site-search option right at the top:

Mui home

The reading page (or viewing page for video) tries to get out of your way by hiding navigation and menu options while you’re in the content:

Safari Mobile Site reading page

Tap the middle of the screen to pull up reader settings and navigation controls:

Photo 3

And if you’re not yet a subscriber, you can now sign up for a free trial from your smartphone:

Mui trial

We’ve been rolling the site out in a beta mode for the past two weeks, and the early feedback has been encouraging. But we know there’s much more we can do to make Safari the best it can be on a mobile browser, and we’d love to hear from you!


About the Author

Andrew Savikas, Chief Executive Officer

Andrew Savikas is the Chief Executive Officer at Safari Books Online. Prior to his appointment as CEO, he held the positions of VP of Digital Initiatives at O’Reilly Media Program Chair for O’Reilly’s Tools of Change for Publishing conference , and interim Chief Executive Officer of Safari Books Online. Andrew blogs at and, and is also a regular contributor to the O’Reilly Radar blog and to “Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto,” a collection of essays on the future of publishing, Andrew previously led the digital publishing and ebook program and strategy for O’Reilly Media, including both print and digital production of all O’Reilly books. He sits on the board for the Book Industry Study Group and is on advisory boards for Bookshare and the University of Michigan Press. He frequently speaks at technology and publishing conferences all over the world and is also the author of “Word Hacks: Tips & Tools for Taming your Text“.

Andrew holds a B.S. in Media Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston.

Tags: mobile, product update,

14 Responses to “Now Available: Updated Safari Books Online Mobile Website”

  1. Truffles Irontrousers

    Nice! Does this still only work with individual, not institutional, accounts?

  2. Anonymous

    This new website is great! It rivals the iPad app for function and exceeds in in performance

  3. Daryl

    I thought the old mobile interface was very good, but the new one is fantastic! I find it much more usable and aesthetically pleasing than the native iPad app. I hope the mobile website will provide inspiration for future version of the iPad app.

    A few minor suggestions:
    * Swiping to change the page doesn’t seem to work very well on my iPad2. My swipes almost never seem to be recognized.
    * It would be nice if the security restrictions around accessing Safari from multiple computers could be relaxed a bit when one is a mobile interface and the other is from a desktop computer. I see switching between the two in short succession to be a fairly normal occurrence.
    * It would be nice if the reader settings and navigation controls automatically disappeared after say 10 – 15 seconds if nothing is pressed on it, though this might be a bit challenging for a web interface.

  4. Thomas

    It would be nice if you could add the HP TouchPad to the list of supported devices for the new mobile site. That or add support to the full flash version of the site so that books can be scrolled with your finger when using the TouchPad as that is the only deficiency that really makes the full site hard to use on the TouchPad.

  5. Anonymous

    I’m disappointed that there’s still no “Kindle optimized” version. Here’s a quick-tip you can implement easily to vastly improve the Kindle experience: keyboard shortcuts! Just enable the “n” and “p” shortcuts on This’ll save us from having to navigate the cursor to the “next” or “previous” button, which on a device like the Kindle is quite annoying.

  6. Anonymous

    Another feature addition – I cannot seem to find a way to remove books from bookshelves in the mobile edition.

  7. Anonymous

    Last I checked the new mobile site did not show up on my nook color. I would love it if this would be added to the list of supported devices. Looks great on my droid x.

    • Traci


      Please look again, you should see the mobile site ( from your Nook Color.

      Thank you.

      • Tiffany Elliott

        Hi Traci,

        I did check again. I can see the old mobile site but not the new one which is much better. Is there a reason that I can only see it on my phone?


      • Tiffany Elliott

        Ok, mystery solved! In order to view the latest mobile site on a nook color the browser mode must be set to mobile. In the browser under settings this is the Browser Mode option at the top. Once the nook is in this mode the new mobile layout becomes visible. All the mobile compatible books I checked out so far look great!

  8. Anonymous

    I always have to reenter my credentials on my Android smartphone though I checked “Keep me signed in”. Are there any tips from you what I have to configure to avoid that?

  9. Anonymous

    Can you add the HP Touchpad useragent – And even better just give users the option to try out the updated site regardless of their device.