11-19-2010 03:33 PM
Hi, doing research into Blackberry's PDF capabilities to see what we're going to need to put PDF functionality into future apps we're hoping to develop for multiple platforms. Anyway, I've got a slew of questions regarding Blackberry's PDF support so I'm just going to list them all bullet style.
01: Can I view PDFs on the web with the Blackberry browser?
01a: If Yes to 01, exactly what version of BB OS (or if applicable BB device) did this first become available in?
01b: If yes to 01, in what capacity can the browser view pdfs? Can it only view them as standalone files or can they be embedded content which is part of a page?
02: Are there any Java APIs or frameworks I can use with Blackberry to build PDF support into my app?
02a: If no to the above, are there any alternatives to building PDF viewing support into the app?
02b: if yes to the above, what version of BB OS (or if applicable BB device) did any of these tools first become available in?
03: If a user has already installed a BB reader app on their device, is there any method for querying the device to find an app that supports reading a pdf and to use that to open the PDF?
03a: assuming yes to 03, are there any free PDF reader apps for the Blackberry?
03b: Assuming yes to 03, how would I do this either in a Java App or with a browser app?
03c: Assuming yes to 03, in what version of BB OS (or if applicable BB device) did this first become available in?
Thanks a bunch for all the help.
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11-19-2010 04:17 PM
Let me try to answer everything in one shot. BlackBerry doesn't have a PDF API so what it does instead is, if accessed through BIS/BES (so Browser on a phone network or email) the email is converted by the BIS/BES into images, thus it should be full PDF compatability.
Now for a couple details; 03 depends, it is possible to get the apps on the device, some might not allow access to them. There is no API that I know of that lets you query what apps support what file formats. For 02, there is no API as I said before, you can look for some open source libraries and projects but it might not be helpful and might require work in order to get it working in the first place.
I actually am working on a PDF library but it isn't complete yet, so it won't work. As I said before, if you want to do some work you can strip out the unworking parts (graphics drawing system) and be able to retrieve the text from the PDF and whatever else you want.
Hope that helps.
11-19-2010 04:35 PM
Ah, thanks, this helps a lot!
But one more question regarding the BIS/BES. What is the BB OS or device cutoff for that? I need to know where my baseline of support is regarding that so I can include that with any App proposals.
11-19-2010 04:46 PM
I think it is device independent since it is a network function and not tied to an OS.
Don't take my word for it (I'm not the expert on these forums that knows a ton about it) and make sure you test on an actual device.