Posted on by & filed under iOS, ipad, mobile, Native apps, Product Updates & Tips, Safari, Safari News, Safari Queue.

Safari Queue, the iOS companion app for Safari, is now available in iTunes.

About Safari Queue 1.0

Our goal for the first release of Safari Queue was to provide a great experience for reading books and videos when offline — by far our most requested feature, difficult to provide in a standalone web application.

Unlimited offline availability

Queue places no limits on the amount of content you can download and store offline (beyond available disk space on your device!). Both books and videos are available for offline use, but be careful — some of our exclusive conference videos can be quite long!

Sync your favorites and must-read titles

We call the app Safari Queue because it syncs with your new Safari queue, a list of titles that you’ve queued for reading or watching later. Once you’ve added a title to your queue, it will automatically appear in the app and will be available for download. (It works the other way, too; removing an item from your queue makes it no longer available in the native app.)

Haven’t used the queue yet?

Adding items to your queue is simple. In the new Safari web application, just click or tap the queue icon anywhere it appears — you’ll find the icon in lots of places: the reading/viewing interface, the table of contents, the book detail page, and elsewhere. Once added, the title is available in the iOS application.

Image showing a book cover and other book metadata. In the upper right corner of the card, the queue icon is circled.

While the app will check for changes to the queue very regularly, if you’re an impatient offliner, just pull the queue to refresh.

Download for offline

Once you’ve added some items to your queue, log into the Safari Queue iOS app and you’ll be presented with a list of your queued items. When you log in for the first time, the app will automatically download the most recently queued item.

An animation of the Safari Queue app. The first time the app is loaded, a list of titles appears on screen, and the first one downloads automatically.

Now that the app has automatically downloaded the first item in your queue, the title card appears in a “lit” state, indicating that it is available for reading, both online and off. Download more items to your device simply by tapping on more title cards. Tap an in-progress download to pause it, and tap again to restart it.

Now you’ve got all the reading and viewing material you could need for your commute, your flight, or wherever being connected to the internet is not a possibility.

Books versus videos

In Safari Queue, downloading videos works differently from downloading books. While the file size for our books can be large (but rarely more than 50 MB), some of our videos are huge. Given the size of some of these files, we thought a lot about how to offer a great user experience while respecting your storage and bandwidth limits. To that end, we distinguish between how books and videos download.

If you tap on a title book card in your queue, the app will download the entire book (even if you queued only a single chapter). When you open that book for the first time in the app, you’ll be taken to the beginning of the book or your most recently viewed section.

But if you tap a video card, the app downloads only a single clip. Tapping on the video card again will present you with a manifest of all of the video clips. You can choose which clips to download from this manifest and pause and restart any in-progress downloads.

Animated image showing a small video player, under which is a list of vide clip titles, one of which is being downloaded.

We realize that the distinct downloading logic between books and videos may be disconcerting the first time that you use it. But the file size and length of several of our most popular video titles made single-clip downloading a very easy decision. Complete video compilations can easily take up several gigabytes of disk space. We felt it would be better to give you the ability to opt-in to use that space as you wished rather than insisting on bloating your device with multiple gigs worth of data.

What else does the app do?

As we said above, the app’s number one job is to provide support for offline reading and watching. That said, this first release of Safari Queue includes several other features that we’re excited about:

  • A beautiful, distraction-free reading/viewing interface, with support for night mode, sharing, and more
  • Position syncing between the iOS and web applications on any device: the new Safari platform (web and native apps) remembers your most recent position and takes you there, assuming you are online
  • Universal support for iOS devices running iOS 7+
  • Full-screen video playback that automatically advances to your next downloaded clip; the same feature works nicely for our growing list of audio books

What’s next?

This is just the beginning for Safari Queue. In the coming weeks and months, we’re going to be building the application out further, with new features and improvements. We’d love to hear what features you’d most like to see in the application.

What about Android?

If you’re not on iOS, you might be wondering what’s happening with the Android version of the application. We’re happy to report that the work is already underway. We’re not creating a carbon copy clone of the iOS app, but are instead focusing on an Android app that will take advantage of native interactions. The beta program will open soon, so if you’re interested in taking part, please request access to our Google Community, and let us know you’d like to participate.

In brief

  • Safari Queue is for users of the new Safari (since July 1, 2014). If your Safari looks like this then please use the Safari to Go on your iOS device.
  • Safari Queue is a universal app for iOS devices running iOS 7+.
  • Safari Queue is fully functional for trial users, so you can create a free trial today and get started immediately.
  • There is full support for offline books and offline video.
  • The amount of material you can download for offline is limited only by available space on your device.
  • You can remain offline for up to 14 days, after which time you will need to go online and allow the app to re-authenticate.


20 Responses to “Safari Queue for offline reading and watching now available on iOS”

    • Adam Witwer

      Hi Phi. We are working on an Android version of Safari Queue, yes. If you’re interested in following progress and gaining access to the early builds, you can join the Safari Queue G+ group.

  1. tcr

    Not working for me…. I’m redirected to the “old style” when using the WebApp, so I tried the app on the iPad as instructed. Can’t see the Queue icon anywhere. Authenticating directly with the Queue app just redirects to the App Store entry for the regular Safari To Go app.

    • Adam Witwer

      Hi tcr. Apologies for the confusion here. It sounds like you have an account on Safari Books Online. The Safari Queue app syncs with our new Safari service. If you’d like to try it you, please open a free 10-day trial account. If you like the new platform and companion app, customer service can help you migrate your account.

  2. Vicki Greer

    Is this off-line feature/application going to be available on Windows? It would be a great thing for those of us with limited bandwidth!

    • Adam Witwer

      Hi Vicki. Thank you for your interest. We are reviewing our options related to Windows app development for Safari Queue and will make the decision in Q1 2015. Sorry that we can’t provide better information at this point.

  3. Ken

    As subscriber for over a year now why am I limited to your old app and unable to use the new and improved version?

  4. Max

    What plans do you have for the future of the iOS app?
    The app lacks of many features like bookmarks, notes, page counter,…although books are easier to read the safaribooksonline webpage is still much nicer.

  5. Dan Smith

    I’m on an older subscription. To migrate my account, will my monthly rate change?

  6. Doug W

    Why isn’t this (and its features) made the next version of Safari To Go? Why a whole new thing and different credentials?

  7. Brian

    So far so good…but, how do I remove a video clip after I’ve watched it?

    I’ve tried all the standard ios swipe/ gestures.

    Did I miss a setting?

    • Adam Witwer

      Hey Brian. Thanks for your question. You can’t remove individual video clips yet, but it’s coming in a near-future release. We’ve designed the feature, and we’re working on implementation and testing now.

  8. Adam

    I’m using the Safari Queue App v1.1 on iOS. I am able to download and view individual video clips from a series. However, I cannot figure out how (or if it’s even possible) to remove an individual video clip. The only option appears to be to remove the entire series. Am I missing something? Will this be a feature in a future release?

    • Adam Witwer

      Hey Adam. You can’t remove individual video clips quite yet, but it’s coming in a near-future release. Please look for it in an update soon.

  9. Rob

    Does this app support searching books that you’ve downloaded? I love the style of the app, but searching is a must-have feature for me to stop using the web application. Thanks!

  10. Greg Hacke

    So, I tried using the new app. Any launch takes me back to the App Store for Safari to Go…