Lyndon Armitage Lyndon is a general Developer. He has a keen interest in AI and Games Programming and runs a blog that he periodically updates.

Creating an Android PDF Viewer

2 min read

If you have looked at our conversion pages recently you may of noticed our very snazzy logos demonstrating what formats you can currently convert your PDF files to using our cloud service. On this logo you may have noticed the ever so familiar Android logo lurking at the end. You may also recall a previous blog article about what our converted pages look like on the default Android browser and how good they looked, since then we have done a lot of work trying to optimise our output for mobile viewing in preparation for…

The addition of a PDF to Android App to our PDF to HTML5/SVG converter software.

jpedalPDFUnlike most PDF viewers on the Android platform our conversion software utilises HTML5 as it’s display format making its source code relatively simple as it displays converted documents within an embedded WebView with some Android specific code on top. We’ve spoken in length before as to why you should consider HTML5 for PDF conversion in several other blog posts.

This feature is suited for publishers who want to publish their documents or magazines as stand alone Android applications as you can control what is displayed and only use the document you provide and we provide the generated source code for you to modify to fit your use case. This gives you control over your content and what you let your users view as well as the potential to publish to the Google Play store.

We also give you the option to compile the generated source code into an Android .apk immediately for you to install on your devices or emulators and try out yourself without touching the source code!

The basic features of this first release include:

  • A navigation bar displaying thumbnails of each page within the document and allows you to navigate to them easily that can also be hidden if desired.
  • The ability to swipe left and right to go back and forward.
  • Text search using the default Android search functionality.
  • Customisable icons and application name.
  • The ability to localize the application using a custom XML file.

And those are all without modifying the actual source code of the Android PDF Viewer that’s generated for you! The source code itself is well documented so for those more technically inclined or those wanting to rework parts of it you can reach in and change how it works.

Running the PDF2Android converter is as simple as running our other converters since it utilizes our main PDF2HTML5 software. The files generated are in the correct source tree for an Android application so if you have in house developers they should be able to pick it up and start working with it quickly. And as a consequence of being part of our main conversion software it will be under constant improvement, with any bugs fixed in our main library reflected in the output of the converter.

Currently we are working hard to add the option to use this generator to our cloud converter page so that you can try it out yourselves without downloading the PDF2HTML5 trial.

A few example screen shots of a basic generated app can be seen below, the first two are from a Nexus tablet and the third an Android phone:

This is the app in portrait mode
This is the app in portrait mode on a Nexus tablet
This is an image of the app showing off the default search functionality
This is an image of the app showing off the default search functionality
This is it running on an Android phone
This is it running on an Android phone

We have tested on many different versions of Android to ensure it works on as many as possible and will be constantly trying to extend our testing, so it should work on virtually all modern devices (Android 2.3.3+) on the market, tablets and phones alike.

The Future

In future iterations we hope to add a many more options for customisation so that you will not need to touch the generated source code making it easier to create applications for your files.

Once such idea is that using generated framework you could potentially place your generated HTML5 files on your own web server and have the app download them whenever you update them giving you a native android app and also the ability to display the converted files on your own website using your own CMS systems, catering for both mobile device users and desktop users.

We also hope to reduce the need to edit the source code for non technical users so feel free to suggest any features that you can think of!

This post is part of our “SVG Article Index” in these articles, we aim to help you build knowledge and understand SVG.

Did you know...

IDRsolutions offers a whole range of online file converters to convert PDF and Microsoft Excel, Word and Office Documents to HTML5, SVG or image formats?

It is free to use for single file conversions and also includes Developer links if you want to use our commercial software for bulk conversions. Find out more on this page

Lyndon Armitage Lyndon is a general Developer. He has a keen interest in AI and Games Programming and runs a blog that he periodically updates.

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