Orlando iOS Developer Group Message Board › Advice requested *warning, long post!
Daytona Beach, FL
I have a client that is a school that teaches emergency operations on heavy equipment to about 300 students at a time. The emergency operations manuals vary from about 40 pages to 400 pages. There are about a dozen manuals. They have an Apple developer account for in house distribution and have created there own iPad app that has a couple of the short books. They were using a jpeg of each page and a popup index to allow for very quick navigation when needed. This worked fine until they got to the larger books and hit huge file sizes and time to prepare the book for the iPad app. They are required by federal law to update the books anytime a manufacturer issues updated emergency procedures, this can happen a couple of times a year for each book. They are also given font and layout requirements. The original files are in word (docx) format. They require that this be their own app and not just books to run in iBooks or pdf files in GoodReader etc.
I have been tasked with coming up with smaller faster app with easy upgrade capability from their internal secure server.
I have looked at:
plain text using core text. This would be the smallest and quickest way, but would require a lot of time for the formatting of each page individually. (12 books with an average of 200 pages each that's a lot of pages). Also, I am finding out that core text is a bear.
docx files in a UIWebView. Yes I was surprised to find out docx files are a recognized file type for web view. This looks good at first since it is the format the information is in to start with, so no time to prep the text. It also is a relatively small file size. The biggest problem is how to navigate to a particular page and a side swipe for page to page. I have unzipped a couple and looked at the underlying open source xml. Wow, intense stuff. I have not found any help on the web. Secondary concern, web view seems like overkill.
html using a UIWebView. Still would require a lot of handwork for each page but CSS would speed up some of the process, web view seems like overkill.
pdf in a UIWebView the first problem is the file size is larger than docx by about 5 times, but it would be easy to create the files. Is it easy to navigate to a particular page? And as with the other two, WebView seems like overkill.
With the challenges I am looking at, have I missed a better solution?
Has anyone worked with docx files trying to navigate from inside a webview in an iOS app? If so please contact me. I would also appreciate any other ideas on what direction I should take.
Hi Mark -
We recently used html5 web views to create an archery tutorial app:
The html5 keeps the layout file size low. Each section is a scrollable web view. The images add to the app size depending on how big you make them. We were also able to dynamically display higher res images for the iPad vs the iPhone. The layout changes dynamically on the iPhone and iPad. It's easy to link images in the web views to custom methods.
Some clients may find it easy to update the html5 themselves. It also makes it easy for clients to pass the document to translators when localizing the app.
DiSalvo Technologies, LLC
"Providing top quality solutions with premium customer support!"
Have you looked into http://fastpdfkit.com...
I've not used it but had briefly researched PDF SDk's for a construction client for their in-house manuals. (They went with MDM PDF distribution for iPad pilot program)
It's a SDK for adding PDF viewing into your own ios apps. There's a 'free' version with a splash page/logo and paid versions. The paid versions is 1000-3000 euros per app.