I will be at a solar eclipse festival where there is no cell service (it's waaaaay out in the boonies). I would like to distribute a viewing guide (PDF) for attendees to view on their mobile devices.

What would be the best way to do this? Can it even be done? Can I create a mobile hotspot from my Android or Windows device even though there is no cell service? If so, can I create a simple page to allow them to download the document? How would I do that?

  • Not a complete answer, but yes, it is certainly possible to just make your phone provide a WiFi access point. A web server, however (and maybe DNS), I don't know. – GiantTree Aug 15 '17 at 18:11
  • File transfers using Bluetooth would work. – bashBedlam Aug 15 '17 at 18:25
  • Not sure bluetooth would be a good solution as there may be many, many people who want to get the file. – Dave Balch Aug 15 '17 at 19:00

Yes, you can create mobile hotspot without cell service, at least in stock Android. The easiest way to mass share a file I think of is by hosting an FTP server. You can find apps for that in Play Store. I grabbed WiFi FTP Server from the first ones in Play Store, which worked well. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Start mobile hotspot and keep the security to None so that others could connect to hotspot freely.
  2. Launch that app, go to its Settings:
    • tick Anonymous access -- so that others can access the server freely
    • select Root folder and select a directory where your pdf file(s) would be kept. Ideally, you should create a dedicated directory (through a file manager app) for it so that others would automatically be able to view only that directory.
    • tick Read only -- you don't want others to modify contents in your storage
  3. On the app's home page, select Start.

    You would get something like this:

    (Click image to enlarge)


  4. Ask people to enter the URL in their browser. That's it.
  • +1 This gotta be the simplest effective way of doing it – xavier_fakerat Aug 15 '17 at 21:32

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