Posted on by & filed under Product Updates & Tips.

Safari Books Online is committed to providing the best possible mobile experience for our customers, regardless of reading device. We’re very excited to announce brand new Safari Apps for Android and iOS devices which are now available on iPad, iPhone, Android phones and Android tablets. We also offer access through our mobile website,

These apps are more than just “mobile-ready” versions of Safari Books Online – you can consume and manage content from the mobile device of your choice. The Safari To Go apps make learning on the go convenient and easy by synchronizing across devices so you can always pick up right where you left off.

Our goal was to develop apps that allow users to quickly find the content they care about when they only have a precious few moments to get in some reading. We focused on creating a comfortable reading experience for those marathon reading sessions and ensure synchronization between devices. We also increased book caching capabilities to three books for offline reading.

Learn more about our mobile apps or download them now:

I appreciate all the support from so many of you throughout the beta process – please continue to send feedback through our Product Feedback form, and I hope you enjoy the apps!

Tags: android app, Apple App, iOS app, safari to go,

55 Responses to “Android and iOS Apps Now Available!”

  1. Anonymous

    Any plans to put this app into Amazon’s app store so kindle fire users can enjoy as well?

    • Bill Levien

      Yes – We have taken the necessary steps to develop, test and submit the app to Amazon for their App Store and the Kindle Fire app store.

      Their approval process is slightly longer for the Kindle Fire, but we hope to have some news there soon.

  2. Robin Polak

    FYI: I’m very happy to finally have this app on my new Nexus 7 tablet, however I would like to file a bug report. On Android 4.1.1 if I select any folder than drop down the menu and select Edit Folders the app will crash. Everything else appears to be functioning just fine.

  3. Mauricio Rivera

    I love Safari Books so I rushed to download the app in my android phone. Noticed some odd behavior though (at least to me): Everytime I drag my finger from bottom to top when reading a book in either horizontal or portrait mode in order to keep reading the page (move it forward) the UI pops up (the one that lets you give a look to the table of contents and such) and in order to go back to “fullscreen” (hide the UI) I have to tap the screen once. It gets really annoying after a few times. I think the app should discriminate between a single tap and a drag action when it comes to bring up the control UI.

  4. Simon

    I’m not sure where we submit our bug report… When I read a book offline it sometime skip a section. Does not happen with online on the same book (I suppose it’s because of the retrieving message that appears every time I change section) Book ex. “Mastering XPages: A Step-by-Step Guide to XPages Application Development and the XPS Language”. I tested on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7, both on android 4.1.1

      • simon whitaker

        I am also getting this skip past pages when reading a book offline on a nexus 7 android latest. I touch screen and 20% of the time it jumps several pages, has this been fixed or Are you fixing? (Any times scales for fix?)

        Thanks Si

  5. Dmitriy Kazimirov

    New UI looks nice on iPad. I couldn’t look more becouse I got 8 ‘Your account has been locked’ messages on e-mail and locked message on iPad after I opened one of recently viewed books, clicked contents, and clicked chapter link in it.

  6. Bruce MacDonald

    I don’t see an “Offline BookBag” on my Sony Tablet S running android 4.0.3! Works fine on my iPhone but I really want to take advantage of the tablet’s larger screen…

    • Ty

      I just made my own ‘Offline Bookbag’ by creating a new list with that name. It tricked the app into becoming the ‘Offline Bookbag’. I don’t get the snazzy briefcase icon for it though.

    • Ty

      I created my own ‘Offline Bookbag’ using a new list. I guess it tricked the app into thinking it was the special one. I don’t get the snazzy briefcase icon for it though.

      • Bill Levien

        Ty – Nice hack!

        When we put out our next update, the real fix for that issue will most likely break the hack and require that you re-download your books.

        Glad you found a temporary workaround for our unfortunate issue and I hope that doesn’t cause too much inconvenience!

  7. karlfast

    Can I use this if I have access to Safari through an institutional subscription? I use Safari through my library. For me, Safari means using via IP-based validation. It seems that I need must have a subscription that requires a username and password.

    • Safari Books Online

      Yes, you are correct. Those that rely on straight IP authentication won’t (yet) have access to the apps. We’ll be revisiting whether and when to add support for the remaining academic accounts.

      • karlfast

        It seems the options on iOS/Android for institutional accounts using IP validation are:
        (a) use mobile site and IP-validation through work network
        (b) use mobile site and IP-validation through VPN to work network
        (c) buy a personal subscription which would be separate from institutional subscription
        (d) wait for a version that supports access based on IP validation

        Thanks for clarifying this. That’s what I thought but I couldn’t find information about this. Confirmation is helpful.

  8. DA

    The product feedback form always just give me an error: “The connection to was interrupted” … “Error 101 (net::ERR_CONNECTION_RESET): The connection was reset.”

  9. Maurizio Mondello

    I was also glad to see this app finally available for Android. My one issue so far is that books cashed in the Offline Bookbag do not seem to cash images (Xoom running Android 4.1.1) . This is of course a major drawback for a technical book.

    • Michael C.

      Maurizio, i commented on the same below… There is a bug in the offline content images storage… Needs to be resolved by the developers…

  10. rdhyee

    Will the Safari app make it into the Barnes & Noble Nook app store any time soon? Thanks!

    • Bill Levien

      Unfortunately, B&N Rejected our application for their Developer Program.

      Until they allow subscription/login based apps and are willing to work with us we won’t be able to distribute our app to Nook owners.

  11. Ravi Kiran V

    In terms of reading usability the new iOS app is a great enhancement. However there is one issue that seems to kill every thing else. The login times out after 30 mins of non usage. For e.g. I login, download a book for offline reading. Pick the tablet after 1/2 hr, the login is invalid and i cannot access the books (even offline ones). I need to relogin for which i need a network, to access offline books :-)

    • Bill Levien

      Ravi – We are sorry you are having this issue!

      We are looking into a session issue with some of our SSO accounts, and I hope to have a solution with our next update (Timing TBD)


  12. Michael C.

    Thank you for the app!
    Works like a charm!

    There seems to be a bug with images reference with the offline content.
    The images are referenced by…. /imagessources/…. Where the content is stored in….. /images/sources/

    I created the directory Copied the files over and everything is ok now….

    Tyank you

    • Michael C.

      Just to clear what i said above. This is a bug in the offline bookbag.. Needs to be fixed asap as the books are not readable without images….
      Thank you

  13. Daniel Laughland

    Great improvement over the last version. Much faster and love that it’s retina now. But there’s one problem that’s been there since version 1 and still isn’t fixed: No chapter numbers in the table of contents! I use those for reference often; it would be nice to see them on mobile.

  14. Mark

    Just discovered Safari Books and trying the Android app on my Nexus 7. Unfortunately the Offline Bookbag is not available as an option. I read the comment above which suggested creating your own Offline Bookbag by creating a list. When I try to create a list (and also a folder) the app crashes.

      • Mark

        The Offline Bookbag now appears to be working. Creating lists crashes when the app is in tablet mode, phone mode I am able to create lists.

  15. Michael C.

    I tried again after the latest update… The offlinebag issue is still there.

    The application is looking for file:///mnt/sdcard/Android/data/com.safaribooksonline/files/zips/3105593-9781562865320-xhtml/images/9781562865320/assetsimages/hbar.jpg might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.

    The application is searching for images in the above location, which is missing a slash in… /assetsimages/ should be /assets/images/

    • Safari Books Online

      Sorry about any confusion. The issue of the missing bookbag is what was fixed. The issue of the missing image is still on the list to fix.


  16. David Frederick

    It’s great to see improvements to the app. However, I tend to use highlighting regularly and really miss this ability when I use the Safari to Go app. Is the ability to highlight specific text within a book going to be added in the near future? Thank you!

  17. Anonymous

    Well done! The apps are finally good enough that I’ve made the switch from the mobile website on my iPad. They work great on both iOS and Android. I can see most of my safari access going through the mobile apps going forward. Thanks!

    • Bill Levien

      Currently we are not supporting the playbook.

      No Promises yet, but we are testing a re-packaged version of our android app for distribution through RIM appworld, and if the performance is acceptable we will work through their submission/approval process.

      For now, you can use our mobile site

  18. krisantus

    Thanks for this very useful especially the offline book bag. Anyway option to increase font size or zoom feature would be great on android devices. Text is a bit too small in nexus 7 tablet, otherwise it’s perfect.

    • Bill Levien


      Glad you like the bookbag!

      Most of our books are delivered in an “HTML” version, and the font size can be changed by tapping the center of the page to bring up the Controls overlay. From the overlay, you can choose “Aa” to bring up the controls for re-sizing the text, changing the brightness and night mode.

      We have some “Print Fidelity” titles that are displayed using images of the actual pages, since that is how they were delivered by the publisher. For these titles, we have been working on a “pinch and zoom” model, but so far it has proven unstable due to the way the images are fetched and built within the reader so you won’t see the “Aa” option in the reader controls overlay.

      One trick for getting a slightly better zoom is rotating the device to landscape mode, which should stretch the page slightly to fit the width, but we are limited by the actual size of the images.

      We plan to keep working on this feature, however as more and more titles are delivered in HTML versions (and we continue to update older books with HTML as well), the HTML reader optimizations will be higher on our roadmap.

      • krisantus

        Hi Bill, thanks for the info. Cool, looking forward to the next update.

      • Aaditya Bhatia

        I tried the app and nearly gave up since there were no settings or documentation in the menu or elsewhere, making it impossible to fix the brightness and the background color (one size doesn’t fit all). Then I searched and ran into this comment. The controls overlay is what I was looking for.

        Consider following Android standards, e.g. triggering this “controls overlay” from the Android “menu” key instead of “tap in middle of the screen”, since it’s hard to discover and barely intuitive. Similarly, zoom options could go in standard zoom buttons that appear on tap, instead of a “controls overlay”.

        Most importantly, please avoid changing the screen brightness by default. Most users don’t see these “magical” surprises coming, and when pushed out of their comfort zone, they go looking for a way to disable it; your in-app UI analytics would corroborate this. This is certainly a valuable feature for many, so it should be in one of the settings section (e.g. controls overlay).

        p.s. App works very well on Nexus S 4G!

  19. Michael J. Ryan

    I originally signed up for safari books online, and even bought a new tablet (Google Nexus 7) mainly for this app… I opened a couple books upon initial install, and looked fine… a couple days later, tried opening again, and all I got was content failed to load errors… after a week, I finally cleared the user data for the app (shouldn’t *EVER* have to do this as a user)…

    Several more days pass by. Tonight, I took a moment to attempt reading “Learning Node”.. if you want a great example of how horrible this is, open up chapter 10 in the android app, and do the same on the web… there are huge swaths of missing content. I’ve got one more book I plan on looking at, if it isn’t any better, I’m cancelling my subscription to safari bol.

    • Craig Ellis

      Hi Michael,

      I believe one of our Technical Support Reps may have already assisted you. Please let me know if you need any more help.


      Craig Ellis
      Manager, Customer Support

  20. Balaji

    I am unable to access the corporate safari website from my kindle eReader. Any plans on supporting this scenario?


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