Posted on by & filed under Mobile Development, Product Updates & Tips, Safari News.

Here’s what we focused on:

Intermittent Connectivity – Going in and out of coverage won’t kick you out of the reader anymore, meaning less disruptive reading on the train (as long as content is in the Offline Bookbag, or has been retrieved already you can keep reading with a subtle menu for switching between all offline books).

Scroll Mode for non-image based Books – Reader View Options now include toggle to turn off “virtual paging” and enable scroll mode where sections are displayed as a single long scrolling column.

Bookmarks & Resume – Improved accuracy of bookmarks and “last reading position”

Table of Contents – Section numbers added to in-book Table of Contents, where provided by author.

Print Fidelity Landscape Mode – Image-based books can now be fit to width in landscape single-page viewing mode to provide a larger, vertically scrollable page.

Performance – Fixed edge cases that were causing crashes, freezing, or generally poor performance

Fixed Missing Images in the Offline Bookbag

Bookshelf & Video Preview Content – Fixed issues with seeing 30 second preview video content, or incomplete pages of books after adding items to your bookshelf

Language preferences – Language settings from the website are now honored in search & browse pages within the app

Get it now on iTunes, and let us know what you think in the comments or iTunes reviews!

~Bill

Tags: iOS, iPad, iPhone, mobile, safari to go,

12 Responses to “Safari To Go 3.1 for iOS is now available in iTunes!”

  1. Frank G

    Where is the love for windows 8/RT and windows phone users? Please don’t exclude us! We are growing everyday!!;

    • Bill Levien

      Frank,

      We’re still keeping a close eye on Windows 8/RT traffic to our sites, and frankly the usage is just not there yet.

      The best way to show love for Windows 8/RT is to keep using our Mobile Site @ https://m.safaribooksonline.com, which we have updated significantly for usability and performance, however I understand a key feature is the offline bookbag which is not supported on the mobile site.

      Sorry we don’t have better news, but we’ll keep you updated on the blog if things change!

      ~Bill

      Mobile Product Manager

      • Frank G

        Hi Bill,

        Thanks for the response. However, I don’t think your approach is the right one to have, nor do I think your data is accurate on usage. With over 60 million Windows 8 licenses sold(not to mention the 700 million Windows 7 licenses that will at some point upgrade), I would say that is a rather large population of people to ignore. In addition, over one million Surface RTs have been sold.(which excludes any other RT sales) Another rather large population to simply brush off as “not important enough”. Let’s face it, Windows is not going anywhere, so to take a “wait and see” approach seems irresponsible, especially for a site providing reference books for the constantly changing technology world.

        Lastly, while Windows Phones may control just a small percentage of the US market, around 4%, the case could be made that these users are the ones that would be interested in taking advantage of Safari Books.(myself included).

        60 Million Windows 8 Licenses – http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2013/01/08/windows-8-60-million-licenses-sold.aspx

        Over One Million Surface RTs Sold – http://www.wpcentral.com/microsoft-surface-tablets-reportedly-15-million-sold-and-counting

        • Bill Levien

          Frank,

          We are not underestimating the potential of Microsoft, nor is traffic the ONLY factor in this decision, which is why we currently support Windows 8 users in two ways: http://www.safaribooksonline.com for dekstop users or m.safaribooksonline.com for mobile users.

          Whether and how a native app would improve the overall experience of our products is something we are evaluating in our product offering, and we definitely appreciate your point of view.

          • Frank G

            If a native app didn’t improve the overall experience, then there wouldn’t be one on the competing platforms. I do agree that the Mobile and desktop versions of the site are quite functional from my devices, but you lose some of the features that come along with an app. (offline reading for one, and all of the new functionality in windows 8/rt)

            In the end, I’ll make do, just wish that 60 million potential users was enough to develop for.

  2. John Sails

    Hello,

    Any new information on when will STG for iOS support users of academic accounts (proquest)?

    Thanks

    • Bill Levien

      Hi John,

      Have you tried the Mobile Site @ http://m.proquest.safaribooksonline.com?

      At the beginning of 2013, we launched an IP-Based mobile-optimized site, which provides access to the site as long as you are within the sponsoring organization’s IP range, and an open seat is available.*

      If this pilot is successful and the demand supports it, we will consider adapting the Native Apps as well.

      If you get a chance, check out the Mobile Site and let me know what you think!

      ~Bill
      Mobile Product Manager


      *Check with your organization administrator for details, as account and access types may vary.

      • John Sails

        Hi Bill,

        I have tried the mobile version and it seems to work fine and cover my needs. Thank you for the suggestion.

        Something that could improve the UX in iOS devices, is to be able to save the mobile site as a chrome-less web app, thus providing a more ebook like experience with additional screen real state.

        Also, it would be nice to have a link in the home to the “new titles” list.

        john

  3. Chuck

    Why are safaribooksonline videos in the Android and iPad apps so blurry when compared to the desktop version where I can set the video resolution? Is there a way for me to correct this? Thank you.

    • Bill Levien

      Hi Chuck,

      The short answer is that we are using a standard video encoding that works across all Android devices and versions, but it’s not optimized for individual devices and frankly doesn’t scale for tablets.

      The long technical answer:

      Currently the Android App is served a single quality “Progressive Download” stream using RTSP, which is supported on all Android versions and since we can only pick one encoding at the moment we have to pick a single resolution and bitrate that works over wifi and 3g which is the lowest common denominator..

      We are working on re-encoding our videos using HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), which was originally an Apple technology that Google was slow to support.

      HLS is an Adaptive Bitrate technology in which we take the “mezzanine” or source video and transcode it into 5 or 6 different resolutions/bitrates combinations ranging from an audio only for really slow connections and a super high resolution/high bitrate encoding for wifi on tablets. The video player negotiates with the streaming server to serve the highest quality encoding the device can support based on the speed of the network connection. That way, you always get the best quality your device/network combination can support.

      Unfortunately, this will only be supported for Android 4.0+ devices since support for HLS before 4.0 is very inconsistent or unavailable (which is why we haven’t deployed it up to this point).

      In the interim, we may point Android devices to the iPad videos, however there are some screen fitment issues since the iPad is 4:3 aspect ratio and most android devices are 16:9.

      I will write a blog post when we roll this out, but I am fairly optimistic we’ll have something to announce in the next 4-6 weeks.

      Thanks for your patience!

      ~Bill

  4. Mark

    Just tried the mobile site from my iOS device while sitting inside my academic library and get a screen that says “Unfortunately we are unable to provide access to your academic library: You are not within the valid IP range of your institution.”

    I have a laptop in front of me that is connected to the same library WiFi which access Safari Tech Books Online just fine.
    I have turned off the cellular radio so I am 100% reliant on the library WiFi on my iOS device.
    Our university assigns 10. non-routable addresses and funnels all Internet traffic through a set of proxy servers with just a few IP addresses.

    It certainly looks like you have some issues still. It would be very nice if you supported roaming access like some of our other vendors where logging into a personal account when accessing the service from university IP ranges then associates that personal account with the University subscription for some amount of time (ranges from 1 to 6 months). That would allow using the iOS app as well.

    • Bill Levien

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for reaching out to us about this… Given the large number and distributed nature of our accounts we weren’t able to test all locations, so we appreciate your help and patience to work through this.

      We’ll take a look at your account and reach out to you directly to troubleshoot and obtain specific IP information for your devices if necessary.

      ~Bill