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A friend excitedly told me about Safari 2 Go (S2G) for iPad. Having an interest in the technical books Safari offers, I chose to try and download a book right then and there, on 3G. S2G refuses to let you log in at all, unless you have wifi.

Later, on my wifi network, I started the download of a book. It took 10 minutes. I’ve noticed that books in the Amazon Kindle app and iBooks generally take about 5 minutes to download, over 3G. I was quite disappointed with the Safari download speed.

Also, the first attempt was unsuccessful, for the iPad’s desire to sleep during inactivity had forced me to “babysit” the iPad, occasionally touching it to ensure that S2G didn’t terminate the download. Other iPad apps are able to override this inactivity setting so they can finish their downloads without issue, even finishing the download while the user is running other apps (you know, that whole multitasking thing that’s sweeping the nation).

Once I did get the book to download, the resulting product wasn’t fully available.

Some of the pages in the resulting book vanish when you try to read them. They’re quite the tease. It might be related to a watermark that vanishes after a picture is loaded. If you do a quick print screen you might be able to capture the missing page. :)

All in all, it’s not a pleasant experience.

The Safari web site works fine, but I was looking forward to the offline storage for when I didn’t have or want to use an internet connection.

At the moment S2G sucks. What the hell were they thinking releasing it like this?

Update (2011/06/08): The updates haven’t helped, crashing often and appearing to fix none of these issues. In fact, the latest version doesn’t even load, presenting the user with a black screen and no functionality.