Auto Launch Webpages full screen on Android

While waiting for Amazon to get round to reviewing my Node-RED Alexa Smart Home Skill I’ve needed something to hack on.

I’ve been keeping an eye on what folk have been doing with Node-RED Dashboard and a common use case keeps coming up. That is running the UI on a Android tablet mounted on a wall as a way to keep track of and control things around the house. This got me thinking about how to set something like this up.


For the best results you really want to run this totally full screen, there are ways to get this to happen with Chrome, but it’s a bit convoluted. Sure you can add it as a shortcut on the home screen but I thought there had to be a easier/better way.

So I started to have a bit of a play and came up with a new app. It’s basically just a full screen Activity with a WebView, with a few of extra features.

  • Set URL – Pick a URL to load when the phone boots, or the app is launched.
  • Launch on boot – The app can be configured to start up as soon as the phone finishes booting.
  • Take Screen Lock – This prevents the screen from powering off or locking so the page is always visible.

You can change the URL by swiping from the left hand edge of the screen, this will cause the action bar to appear, from this you can select “Settings”.

Set URL to Load
Set URL to Load

The app is in the Google Play store here, the code is on Github here

Update v1.1.0

Post version v1.1.0 you can now access the menu to change the URL by long pressing anywhere on the page. This is because Android now uses the swipe from the edge of the screen for the back action.

14 thoughts on “Auto Launch Webpages full screen on Android”

  1. Hi Ben. Your app freezes with a screen filled with blue color if i set the url to the one of my local node red server Unfortunately, afterwards i cant get the settings dialog back without reinstalling the app. Many other WebView apps from the android store worked fine with the url.

    But all apps together have a big issue for me. Using the apps with my smartphone i cant scroll down the dashboard ui. Cant figure out wether to blame the android webview feature or the node red dashboard plugin. Maybe you are aware of a fix for me?

    Wondering, why the interest in the hole wide web isnt bigger to control the node red dashboard comfortable from a smartphone. Nevertheless, thanx for your app. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Hi thanks for this,are you still maintaining this project ? I had a request not sure if it’s doable but I couldn’t figure out to do it ,basically if it’s OK to add a button as optional in the code that will be linked to the fullscreen button so you can click a button to launch the fullscreen coz some sites launches in small window and you have to click the fullscreen , so if we could have a button and therefore I could implement an auto click in my app thanks

        1. Fixes when it’s broken probably, but feature request are most likely going to have to come with a Pull Request that implements it as I really don’t have time to build new things for this project.

          Also you would need to supply a much more detailed explanation of what you are looking for as it’s really not clear. Including an example website might help. But the project’s intent it to load a page without out any browser chome at all. If the page has a extra “full screen mode” e.g. for a video then that is outside the scope of this project as every page is likely to implement that differently.

    1. Raise an issue in GitHub, include a test URL that shows the problem and details of the platform you are running on

    1. Yes, it’s a web browser, that’s what it’s supposed to do. If you read the blog post it tells you how to change the page that is loaded

  2. Installed this today to use with SIM HUB software to display a Dashboard on an Android phone for SIM racing… works well but was tricky to setup – it seemed to freeze when trying to get to the settings page so I had to firce stop the app a couple of times, once I inputted the URL it seems to be ok now and stable. Thanks!

    1. I don’t have time to work on this project at the moment. I’d look at a pull request if you want to implement it.

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