It has been a while since our last mobile update and a lot has happened since then.
Mobile access to Safari Books Online continues to grow at a strong pace — more than 12% of all page views now come from mobile devices, and there’s no sign of a slowdown.
To improve the mobile experience for Safari Books Online we’ve made several changes in the past 6 months to lay the foundation for significant improvements in the works throughout 2012:
- In January, we acquired Threepress, bringing on board mobile reading veteran Liza Daly as our new VP of Engineering (along with the rest of her team)
- We brought on board an experienced product manager (that’s me!) to lead the efforts across native app platforms and the mobile web
- We’ve made critical infrastructure changes to support the industry-standard EPUB eBook format, which means more of our library will be mobile-friendly
- We’re nearly finished with a complete overhaul of the pagination system for our native apps
As we adapt our products for the best experience in the rapidly changing mobile environment, one of the most important things we do (aside from testing) is read the feedback, tweets, Facebook wall posts, product reviews (and even the unfortunate cancellation feedback) that you submit. The comments and suggestions we receive are invaluable insights into what is important to you as early adopters of mobile reading and learning within Safari Books Online.
Now a little bit about the fun stuff we have been working on…
- “Responsive” Website Re-design– We overhauled our website, and made sure that it’s easy to use whether you are browsing from a desktop, tablet or phone. Try https://safaribooksonline.com from any device or resize your desktop browser window to see how the layout changes.
- iPad Native Application – We’ve been making steady improvements to the app including addressing content formatting issues, app stability, usability tweaks, video performance and other specific features that you have submitted to us. (Get it on iTunes)
- “New” Mobile Website – Last year we also launched an enhanced mobile website at m.safaribooksonline.com (Must have login). With this site, we have kept up with the latest innovations in iOS, Android and Windows smartphones and tablets to provide a smoother experience to a wide range of smart devices.
- “Standard” Mobile Website – This site has the same core features of the “New” Mobile site but the pages and navigation are optimized for phones without touchscreens or that have limited processing power, low resolution screens and slower connections. You can also just hit m.safaribooksonline.com (Must have login) and we’ll get you to the right place based on your device type.
- iPhone Native Application – We spent some time early this year updating our systems to perform well over 3G on the iPad and this also laid the foundation to develop an iPhone-native version of Safari to Go. The design has been simplified for easy access to the most commonly-used features while on the go (please not while driving!) including offline reading. We don’t have a launch date just yet, but it’s coming along and we wanted to give you a sneak peek of the designs below.
- Android Native Application – And finally… There has been overwhelming demand for an Android app, and we are listening. We have taken the same philosophy as the iPhone app to get the main features front and center but took a completely different approach for navigation that stays close to the core Android experience you are used to. We’ll let you know as we get closer to launch, but here’s a peek at the Android app as well.
|Safari To Go for Android|
|Safari To Go for iPhone|
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