Viewing PDF Files on an Android Mobile Browser



  • We have a corporate web server here at HQ which runs on Server 2012 IIS using classic ASP. On that same server, we have various directories setup as virtual directories for IIS. That way people can access PDFs / PNGs of manufacturing drawings right from our corporate intranet site.

    We've had some great success using various Apple and Android tablets for folks to access the company intranet site out in our shops, but viewing the PDF files in mobile browsers has been a pain. There are only a handful of Apple tablets out there. It's more Android tablets than anything (mostly ASUS Nexus 7 2013 and some newer ASUS Zenpads). We're using MaaS360 and their kiosk mode functionality on the Android tablets so shop employees can only access what they need (normally a web browser, corporate e-mail if they need it, a calculator app, and a camera app). It's a pretty minimal set of applications that they need.

    Here's what we have found so far regarding viewing PDF files from our intranet site on the tablets:
    Apple

    • Viewing the PDFs in Safari on iOS devices works wonderfully. But the number of Apple devices out there is pretty minimal (probably only about 5 - 10) compared to the large number of Android tablets (probably more like 35 - 40).

    Android

    • The Chrome app works great to view any page, but when you try to click a link to a PDF, it will download and fail to open (even with Adobe Reader app installed).

    • I tried Firefox with no luck. I cannot even authenticate to our intranet site with it.

    • Dolphin and Mercury were much the same as Chrome

    • I finally stumbled upon Opera. It will prompt you to download the PDF, and then you can go back to your download list in the browser and open it in a PDF viewer without any trouble. While this seems like a workable option, I don't like the idea of people out on the floor having to download the file, open the downloads page, and then opening the file. They may end up getting confused about which files to open if there are many downloaded without clearing the list occasionally.

    Does anyone know of something other than Opera that might do the trick for a mobile browser we can use to view these PDFs on Android tablets? I'd prefer a browser app that will render the PDF files in the browser (no requirement to download a file and then go open it).



  • webView.loadUrl("https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=" + "url of pdf file");

    That prompts any URL to open using google docs viewer which works great in chrome mobile browser.



  • @IRJ said in Viewing PDF Files on an Android Mobile Browser:

    webView.loadUrl("https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=" + "url of pdf file");

    That prompts any URL to open using google docs viewer which works great in chrome mobile browser.

    Is that ASP.NET code or classic ASP? Our pages are classic ASP.


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