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Thread: Alternative for <input type="file"> for Mobile Safari 5 users?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Alternative for <input type="file"> for Mobile Safari 5 users?

    Trying to build a small script to let mobile users (wedding guests) upload photos from their photo catalog to my server so I can display a real-time updating live photo feed during the reception. I've heard Mobile Safari 5 does not support the <input type="file"> tag, which would leave a lot of my iphone guests out of luck, so I'm looking for a workaround or alternative for that.

    Would anyone on Mobile Safari 5 be able to upgrade to 6 (as I hear 6 includes support for the tag)? Or is 6 dependent on iOS6? Im an android user so Im not really familiar with whats possible for iphone users regarding upgrading. If its easy for them to upgrade then its not such a huge deal but Im thinking thats probably not the case...

    Is there any other method of letting a user simply pick a file PATH and not an actual file? If thats true, would I be able to send the file path to PHP instead of the actual file and let PHP use that path to grab the actual file from the users device? Not sure if that would work, or if I can even obtain a file path other than using the unsupported tag...

    Any other thoughts/suggestions on how to get around this to reach as many mobile users as possible? Dont want to create a native app, too much hassle to jump through all the app store hoops and too much hassle to ask guests at a wedding to worry about going to the app store, logging in, downloading, installing an app. Much easier if they can simply access a URL and select a photo to upload.

    Please help if you have ANY thoughts or ideas, Im running out of time! =]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    There's a lot of discussion about this online. A quick search shows there are some workarounds out there. Give them a try.
    Rick Trethewey
    Rainbo Design

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    I definitely found some workarounds, but for one reason or another they just dont work for my situation. I specifically need people to be able to do this from their mobile devices, no desktops. So that rules out any workaround thats not targeted for use on mobile (ie drag n drop solutions, etc). I found a few plugins and such, and they are really cool, but ultimately under the hood they are still utilizing the <input type="file"> tag, which I am trying to avoid since its support is not 100% reliable.

    Would the PHP "solution" I posited in my first post be a viable option, or is that not possible? Maybe its possible people on Mobile Safari 5 can simply upgrade to 6 if they want to upload photos. If thats the case I can just put a warning on the page that lets them know they may need to upgrade first.

    Any other thoughts/suggestions?

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