Add menu option "Open file in default app" in mobile too

(edited to add versions and fix a typo)

Use case or problem

I have a picture/pdf file in Obsidian (Sync) on my mobile device that I want to edit (annotate) in the default external Android app and save it in that app so it updates also in Obsidian and shows annotations (and they will then be synced on the desktop version of Obsidian).
This is an option in the drop-down menu in the Windows version of Obsidian, see the screenshot:

But it is not an option in the mobile (Android) version of the app, see the mobile screenshot that lists a slightly impoverished set of options:

My current desktop version of Obsidian is 1.5.3 on a Windows 10. Mobile version is 1.4.16 from PlayStore on an Android 12.

Proposed solution

Please add the option to Open file in default app to the mobile/Android menu too. Since Android also has default apps (and a tablet nowadays can have great processing power to edit documents etc just like on a computer or in some ways better, e.g. direct annotation of files with a stylus), there is as much logic as having this option on desktop.

Current workaround (optional)

My current workaround is to keep a shortcut of the vault folder on my home screen, so exit Obsidian and open that shortcut, look for the file there manually and open and edit it from that folder. Upon saving, the annotated picture/pdf does indeed update successfully in Obsidian as well, and it also syncs fine to the desktop version (provided both devices are connected to the internet). But it is an extra step and can get cumulatively quite time-consuming, and when there are hundreds of files, it can get increasingly impractical. All preventable by just having the menu option available like it is on the desktop version of Obsidian.

Related feature requests (optional)

The only thing I found was an old (June '21) feature req for Mac that sounded similar but since I don’t use Mac I cannot tell for sure what they are even talking about in certain parts (especially the solution). No solution seems to have been followed up with. [Mobile] Handle Direct opening of files in Files app (iOS) - Feature requests - Obsidian Forum

On mobile, this command is called “share” (following the mobile jargon conventions) and is already there.

1 Like

Thank you so much for this fast reply! It would not have occurred to me in a lifetime that Share on Android would ever mean the same as Open, in every other context it doesn’t. Maybe it’s an Apple convention? On my Android device - and it is similar on all my other Android devices running various Android versions - the apps that open a file for viewing/editing are not even listed as options upon clicking “Share”, they are listed under another option, “Open with”; these are the options upon long-press, otherwise with a short press the file simply opens in the default app. To give an example from a relevant app, on my other Android device I have Adobe Acrobat reader for reading PDFs. The “Share” option goes to Adobe and creates a shareable link through their cloud service and is not used to simply open the file for reading in the same app.
So I would suggest making this menu item more transparent for Android users.

I played with it and had varying success. For PDFs I use only one app on the Android, that worked great (and synced). But for pictures I have a choice of two apps, one worked and the other one did not in the sense that when I open the file from the vault folder I see the changes, but I could not see them in either the Android or the (synced) Win versions - this does not make any sense to me, as it rules out the option that one app is creating a local version in whatever other folder and saving the changes there. When I edited the file from the “Share” option again through the other app, the annotation from the first app was deleted. So, this is a strange result and has the potential to create issues.
Allow me to add that because the “Share” option is not treated the same way as Open on (at least my) Android, there is actually no option to choose a default app to use for this command, so the choice needs to be made for each file click individually. This is arguably a much less bad extra step than before, but the potential to cause the conflict of versions described above remains less than optimal.
So, the Obsidian “Share” is then neither the native Android Share, nor the native Android Open (with). Isn’t this strange?

In the process of trying this out, I realized that given this problem, locating the file in the directory directly from Obsidian might be a slightly safer option after all (because from the folder, Share and Open are indeed different options with their native functions), but this is not an option in the menu (the highlight rectangle in the screenshot above). Maybe it’s not possible to even do this in Android for technical reasons? If it’s possible, it might be useful to add it. I realize that my original request was only regarding opening the file, but this turned out a bit more complicated.
Thanks again!