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(Opera Mini) Gmail > attachments (PDF, doc, etc.) > Safari (?!) > Open In App

Discussion in 'iPad 2 Forum' started by Kyp, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. Kyp
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    Kyp iPF Noob

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    I'm setting up an iPad2 for my parents (Chinese input for email to relatives, little games), but am running into an issue with emailed file attachments:

    (1) Clicking Gmail attachements (PDFs/docs) from Opera Mini opens Safari before giving the option to open with an actual PDF app. Is there any way to skip the Safari step for PDF file downloads when using Opera Mini for Gmail and have the files open directly in the app?

    (2) Barring that, is there any way to FORCE Safari to use Gmail's Basic HTML view, which is zoomable (the mobile site force-rendered in Safari can't be zoomed in, and that's critical for my older parents).

    (3) Or any other suggestions? They use Gmail with iPad's nice Chinese input, but they must have ZOOM, and Safari's redirection to the mobile Gmail site is useless, as is the Mail app that can't be zoomed either. But they get PDF or doc attachments often enough, and that should be a straight tap > app affair like it is on desktop computers. :(

    halp?

    Thanks
  2. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    (1) There is probably no way around this without jailbreaking and making Oper Mini the default browser. Unless you're going to be around to manage the iPad all the time, that is probably an issue.

    (2) If you navigate to the HTML version of Google you can save a link to that version of the site. The link will take you directly there. Even ore convenient you can choose Add to Home Screen instead and the bookmark will appear on the Home screen as an icon. It'll be ugly though. there is another app(s) that lets you create Home Screen bookmarks with custom icons, but I can't remember the name. A search should turn something up.

    (3) If you are not aware of it, the iPad has a Zoom feature in Settings > General > Accessibility. The gestures it uses are describe on the settings page. This zoom is system wide and will work in any app.
  3. Kyp
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    Kyp iPF Noob

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    (1) Yeah, that's not an option then, sadly.

    (2) The problem with this is that I can't even access the HTML version of Gmail in Safari to make the bookmark or Home Screen icon--it always redirects to the special mobile version when clicking or pasting the exact HTML view URL into the address bar. There is no link to the HTML version in that mobile redirect and nothing in account settings. So I guess that won't work at all with Safari. :(

    (3) Good to know. The system zoom does work, but I dislike the mobile version of Gmail on Safari because the "mystery meat" icons are not labeled, which won't help my parents. Hrm. It's pretty awful...


    I've linked the HTML version to Opera Mini's start page, so that will be more usable for them. I guess there is no workaround for Gmail file attachments>Safari>app business, though, so I'll just have to explain it or write up something.


    Thanks. At least the system zoom can be used for other things.
  4. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    If you scroll to the bottom of the email list (scroll even it it's empty) you will see links to the HTML and standard Desktop versions of the site.

    There is a GMail app that can attache photos, and has a few other features not found on the mobile site. You might want to check it out.

    The iCab Mobile browser can upload to most websites. However; other than photos you first have to copy the file to the browser using Open In or some other method. I don't know how well this would work with the GMail webmail sites.

    DropBox is a great way to share files via email. Instead of trying to attache the file to an email, you upload it to DropBox then paste the share link (generated by the app) into the email. Works with all email clients and is faster than actually sending an attachment. It might require a little extra training, but it solves more than just this one problem.
  5. Kyp
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    Kyp iPF Noob

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    The 'basic HTML' link does not exist on the Safari mobile Gmail website that I can see. I've seen the link you're talking about in old screenshots from a year ago so I know it should be down there, but I don't know if Google just stopped supporting basic HTML view directly or what.

    The direct mail.google.com/mail/h and "nobrowsercheck" URLs didn't work either.

    I found another direct URL, mail.google.com/mail/?ui=html&zy=h that DID force Safari to use the basic HTML view while I was logged into my account (log into mobile site, copy-paste into address bar to force it), so I logged off, went to that URL login page and created a Home Screen shortcut. Then tried logging in using that short cut.... and the blank loading screen paused before kicking me straight into the mobile Gmail screen again. It's like Google and Safari are at war on the iPad--I hate it when companies do this, believing they know what's best for the user no matter what. Guess I'll look into jailbreaking after all just to delete Safari out of existence.

    I've tried the official Gmail app before, but the interface is the same as the forced Safari mobile redirect--mystery meat icons are not an option, since my elderly parents are simply not efficient users who poke around and remember UI elements (it might work if labels popped up, but there's no concept of 'mouseover' on an iPad).

    Dropbox is great. The only problem is that all their relatives and friends would have to get it too in order to share, so that isn't easy logistically. And they're mostly old too. :p
  6. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    I checked the HTML link just before I posted. It was still there. You must scroll to the bottom of the email list to see it, even if the list is empty. I've only got my iPhone at the moment, so I can not supply a screenshot.

    You do not need a DropBox account to download files/pictures from a shared link. Only the sender needs an account.
  7. Kyp
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    Kyp iPF Noob

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    Ah, the LEFT side. Thanks. I thought it'd be under the entire main section, like this. So I logged in, found the link, then tried to make a Home Screen shortcut; logged out and tried the new icon, but Google still redirects to the mobile version for Safari. It doesn't look there there's any option to permanently 'remember' basic HTML view in Safari's redirect, either. This won't really work...

    Per Dropbox--since it's everyone else who's sending my parents stuff, we'd have to convince them to use Dropbox, so yeah... ;)

    I found something else in the interim, though:

    Mercury Web Browser by iLegendSoft

    I'm still tinkering with it, but it seems to work much more closely to a real Web browser than a stripped mobile version. I set Gmail's basic HTML view URL as a home screen tile (very similar to Opera's speed-dial) and can even set the browser identity to a bunch of other browsers besides 'mobile Safari', which should help with the automated mobile-site shunting (unncessary most of the time on an iPad anyway). Good tab support and some other features I'm not worried about at the moment, like multifinger gestures.

    I first restricted Safari in the iPad general settings before installing Mercury Web Browser (free version, I think they just removed the ads). Fiddling with Gmail basic HTML view, it seems I can open and view JPG, PDF, MSOffice (xls, doc, ppt) directly in a new browser tab via the Google Office service, but I can't manipulate the attachments with Mercury's file manager/download function. Huh. I noticed Google's main search page with the appended redirects don't work either, but https://www.google.com/m seems to work fine.

    So far--

    Opera Mini > Gmail, zoomable > attachments > opens in Safari > "open in" app option

    Safari > Mobile Gmail, not zoomable > attachments > opens in Safari > "open in" app option

    Mercury > Gmail, zoomable > attachments > opens in Mercury > file/download management "open with file viewer" option doesn't seem to work with Gmail's attachment redirect but does for regular links (e.g. I can download and view PDFs from a government site in the iPDFs app). Images can be saved into Album with "open with viewer" option, however.
  8. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    It's the signing in part that redirects you. If you stay signed in it will take you to the HTML version. I'm the only user on my iPad, and I generally go to so many Google sites that I let it remember my iPad's sign in; which is my excuse for not noticing this quirk.

    Staying signed in may not be an option for you.

    The iCab Mobile browser is also feature rich, and it can upload to many sites. Though, other than pictures you have to copy the file to iCab first.

    On the other hand, it sounds like Safari in iOS 6 (due out end of this week) will also permit picture uploading.

    We're seeing a lot of minor hiccups from Google lately. I suspect it has something to do with them restructuring a lot of their services to work with Google Drive.
  9. Kyp
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    Kyp iPF Noob

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    It isn't, since the ipad will be shared between my parents, and they have different accounts.

    I'll check this out... Being able to download/view PDF and Office files easiliy is important too, though, and Google may end up force-redirecting for that browser as well.

    Interesting. Maybe things will settle down eventually; I know some people have trouble ever seeing the 'set HTML view permanently' link, which I see on and off as well.


    Thanks, twerppoet
  10. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Safari is the default browser. There is no way around that unless you jailbreak. Clicking on a link in another app almost always opens Safari:

    However, some Google apps are starting to include an open in Chrome option, if you have that app installed.

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