How I shared an “unsharable” link from my Android

It was one of those things that I thought would be easy!

Oh but it wasn’t as straightforward as I hoped.

Here’s the background:

I used to live in Atlanta, Georgia and attended a church in the heart of the city called Atlanta Westside Presbyterian.

The most salient characteristic of that church was how circumspect the senior pastor, Walter Henegar, was to let the Word of God speak for itself.  He took pains not to inject his own opinions into the passages and he was patient with the scriptures, thoughtfully exploring the nuances of text, unraveling it like a ball of yarn.

As a result his messages were lucid and were both intellectually and emotionally satisfying.

In addition, Walter didn’t really seem to care what the congregation thought about his style or content but the remarkable thing is that it didn’t come across as hubris or anything like that.  It just seemed that he really loved the Lord and cared more about God’s opinion than public adulation.

And I really really liked that about Walter.

But you know what I like more than that?

He’s real.

He’s a real authentic guy.  He’s the kind of person you can sit down and hang with and you won’t feel self-conscious.


Eventually I moved from Atlanta so that I could marry my girlfriend of 7 years who lived in New York City. And although I found a church in the bustling nexus of the city, I never quite got over that little church Walter planted in Atlanta.

I missed the people, the praise and the passages of the bible we would explore every Sunday.  And it was hard for me to adjust to the change of life.

But what does this have to do with sharing web content that’s not really “sharable”?

Glad you asked! 

The other day Walter posted a link to his Facebook wall calling his black friends to scrutinize his latest sermon regarding race.  Walter is Caucasian so this obviously was controversial.

My wife and I immediately listened to it and felt a maelstrom of emotions sweep over us.

  • We teared up
  • We were convicted
  • We shouted “Amen”
  • and we were sober.

It all came back to Walter’s ingenuous treatment of the problem.  He didn’t skirt around the issue but faced it head on with grace and humility.  It took a lot of balls for a white guy to do that.  And I lauded him for it.

The message was amazing and I wanted my brother to hear it so I figured I’d send the sermon to my brother by clicking a share button (or something equivalent) on my phone.

Ha! If only life could be so easy.

I tapped over to http://www.atlantawestside.org, flicked through the sermon listings and found the sermon on Race.  My eyes were darting all over the page trying to find a share link.

Unable to find a way to “get the sermon off the page” I tapped and held my finger over the audio link hoping that would function like the right-click on my PC.

But all that did was conjure up options to:

  • Open the link in a new normal tab
  • Open in an incognito tab
  • Copy the URL
  • Copy the text
  • Save the link

Trying to share a link on Chrome Mobile

I instinctively tapped Copy link address; however, when I pasted it in the text message box for my brother do you know what the URL said?

http://www.atlantawestside.org/#

My wife was like:

What the heck! Vonnie this isn’t working?  What’s that little number thing at the end of the address?

I told her it was a page anchor and it’s a common way for javascript developers to create in-page links.  But this of course did nothing to allay her frustration and it didn’t help me solve the problem either.

How was I going to grab this link from the webpage?

I really wanted my brother to hear this sermon but since I was on my phone, I couldn’t right-click the page to view source.   If I pressed the left soft menu key on my phone I did see an option to Share… but that shared the home page not the link on the page.

I couldn’t find any thing relevant in Settings either.

So what did I do?

I Googled it.

It turns out other people had the same question and there were message boards replete with suggestions. I found a Javascript savant who created a script you could paste into the URL bar that printed out the page source in an alert box.

I tried this but unfortunately it truncated the first 40 bytes of text so I couldn’t view the HTML code that had the link to the media file.

Desperate for a solution, I resumed my Googling efforts.

I eventually landed on an article that made total sense.

Since I was using Chrome Mobile, some of the Chrome desktop features would probably work on my mobile device too.

I wish i could find the link that saved me so I give credit where it’s due.  I think it was on StackExchange or something.

Anyway, to view source in Chrome Mobile all you need to do is prefix the URL with the following phrase:

view-source

So I tapped this url into my mobile browser:

view-source:atlantawesside.org

Then I tapped the left soft menu button and touched Find in page.

After entering the word

race

the link came up immediately!

I was then able to copy the direct file link to the clipboard and paste it into my messaging app.

Viewing source in Chrome mobile

So that’s great.

But what if you’re not using Chrome Mobile?  How would you share the file then?

Well, that depends, but here’s how to view source in in Firefox Mobile.  

view-source:www.yoursite.com

Viewing source in Firefox mobile and Chrome mobile are identical.

Unfortunately I haven’t found a way to pull this off using the integrated Android browser (I’m using KitKat) or using Opera Mini.

But seriously, why would you use anything other than Chrome anyway?

Just use Chrome!

If this helped you, consider leaving a comment or joining team fixedByVonnie by entering your email address in the right rail.

Thanks

About

Connect with Vonnie on Twitter

Posted in Mobile, Samsung Galaxy S4, Security, Smartphones Tagged with: