Fullscreen Web Browser Options

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Gerk

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Fullscreen Web Browser Options
« on: July 06, 2017, 10:16:46 AM »
So this is a bit of a shocker to me, I've been working on a whole bunch of home automation type stuff lately with my "smart home" type stuff -- I have a fair bit of it now.  I've been working on building a web interface for it all using a project called OpenHAB ... so long story short, and here's the shocker part ...

iOS does NOT SUPPORT any sort of full screen mode for any of the default web browsers on my older iPad -- at all (and the age has nothing to do with it, it doesn't work on any OS release).  Is it just me or does this seem completely ridiculous?  I did find one that sort of works and it's a paid app (over $5 cdn too) and it apparently has a boatload of issues running javascript which basically means I threw that $5 into the great bit bucket in the cloud ...

Things are so ridiculous at Apple these days, I really hope that someone with a clue takes charge soon.  This is kind of the straw that broke the camel's back for me.  I'm getting very tired of giving Apple my money only to have my devices obsoleted before their time is done, I'm tired of having arcane policies dictated as to what apps can and can't do if they want to be on the platform, and I'm VERY tired of total BS like this one, where they arbitrarily decide that something as simple as full screen should not be allowed for unknown reasons.  I mean you can do it if you are building a web pane within your own app (but only if not a web browser according to their iOS interface rules), but if you're an end user looking for a good full screen browsing experience without the top portion of your screen being used by entry fields and navigational items that is not "allowed" to go away ... that's a major deficiency in the platform and you can't tell me that in 10 major versions of the OS that this issue hasn't come up at some point and that they can't solve it.  This sounds like another one of those things like "We need to hold this 'feature' back until version ___ so that people have a reason to update."

I can buy a 7" Amazon Fire tablet (from the US as they don't sell them in Canada at this point) for $49 USD that runs Android that will do all of what I need and more, supports standard screen resolutions and aspect ratios (instead of the square one that iPads still use).  I can load apps onto it from several different app stores as well as by downloading directly from developers (or using a very simple process to build my own APK using freely available tools).  I just found a tutorial on how to make and deploy your own full screen web browser for the exact sort of purpose that I want to use it for, and that includes adding on a simple app that allows motion detection presence, booting it into a full-on 'kiosk' mode (i.e. auto-launching my app on boot), etc.

In opposition, my almost $1000 10" iPad is unable to almost any of this stuff -- technically it _can_ be run in kiosk mode, but to do that requires a ton of hoop jumping, is super fussy to make work as expected, and puts the iPad into an incredibly limited mode that requires a full device restore to get back out of.  Kind of puts things into perspective, huh?

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Gerk

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Re: Fullscreen Web Browser Options
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2017, 08:07:55 AM »
So I picked up a 7" Samsung tablet from Costco (for $127), installed a piece of free Kiosk software on it (called Fully Kiosk) and it's running full-screen web browser that even locks out other apps, runs at boot, etc with zero problems.   It even allows you to set a gesture or combination of gestures to get out of the app and/or at the preferences to adjust (while still keeping it reasonably locked down so other users don't accidentally exit the app).

It also doubles as a controller for various things that sits on my desk while I'm working -- I run spotify on it most of the time, but also Plex, the Harmony Remote app (as well as the custom interface for my whole smart home that I run in the Kiosk app).  It gets hauled into the home theatre to be used as a controller there for when people besides me are using it (I can do everything I need with voice control and the Apple TV remote but some other household members refuse to use the Amazon Echo for anything and can't figure out the harmony remote so the interface I built with OpenHAB especially for them is important to have in there).

Took about 15 minutes to get it all up and running and the price point was 1/4 the price of an iPad mini.  Oh yes, and the tablet supports multiple users -- another one of those things that Apple has been dragging its feet on forever.