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Apps "Sign-in to network" panel not fully functional

Discussion in 'Android Development' started by FloridaFerg, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. FloridaFerg

    FloridaFerg Lurker
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    Not sure if I’m on-topic here or not, but here goes... I am responsible for the setup/configuration of WiFi routers in various restaurants and venues. We are simply using the built-in splash page functionality of the router to, upon connection, present a simple marketing message and daily special offer via an extremely simple, static external HTML page, rather than the login page that many venues present (airports, coffee shops, McDonalds, etc.).

    After connecting to our SSID with a PC or mobile device, users are presented with a customized splash page where our venue’s latest “offer of the day” banner ad is presented, which links via a standard hyperlink out to a PDF coupon for them to redeem said offer. There are also a couple of other simple items on the page, such as a menu with links to other offers, and an embedded Google Map to the venue in question.

    All seems to be OK on PCs and iPad/iPhone devices. However, we are running into a problem on Android devices – specifically, Android devices using newer/more recent versions of the Android OS.

    The problem is that Google has made a change to newer versions of Android so that WiFi connection login/splash/confirmation pages no longer come up in the default Web browser of the phone/tablet in question. Instead, they seem to come up in some kind of built-in notification window simply titled “Sign-in to network” – it does not seem to be a full-blown, feature-compliant browser, but rather a panel of sorts built into Android. And when our basic, mainly static HTML page loads within this alert window, none of the standard HTML features (such as hyperlinks) seem to work. A window appears with the title “Sign-in to network”, and our splash page appears on within it, but the standard HTML hyperlink from our special offer graphic (to a PDF file) does not work. Clicking it has no effect. Our menu underneath that does not seem to open (it’s automatically collapsed on mobile devices), and none of the links within it work properly, and our embedded Google Map does not appear at all. It’s as if this alert window or whatever we call it does not support the basic features of HTML pages in any way.

    There appears to be no way for me to programmatically force the Android client to “escape” from this proprietary panel and open up a page in their default browser. I’ve tried placing various forms of client and server side “push/redirect” code on the page in an effort to escape from this alert window and cue the default browser to open, with no luck. No matter what I do, it seems that they Android phones always load the splash page within a “sign-in to network” notification page rather than a browser, and that this notification panel is not fully functional for even basic HTML features such as <a> hyperlinks, javascript, or embedded items.

    It’s possible that Android’s proprietary “sign-in to network” panel is apparently seeking some sort of acknowledgement of a successful "login" in order to proceed with any subsequent browsing. But if so, I don’t know what constitutes “acknowledgement”. Perhaps there some way to force a hidden form submission or link click programmatically to force the Android device to accept/acknowledge the connection just as if the user had logged in normally, so that we can then proceed to subsequent Web browsing?

    Has anyone experienced this problem, or have any ideas as to whether there’s a work-around or coding-based solution to this difficulty?
    Thanks very much for your help in advance.
     

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