Nick Nick - 6 months ago 54
Android Question

Android HTML ImageGetter as AsyncTask

Okay, I'm losing my mind over this one. I have a method in my program which parses HTML. I want to include the inline images, and I am under the impression that using the Html.fromHtml(string, Html.ImageGetter, Html.TagHandler) will allow this to happen.

Since Html.ImageGetter doesn't have an implementation, it's up to me to write one. However, since parsing URLs into Drawables requires network access, I can't do this on the main thread, so it must be an AsyncTask. I think.

However, when you pass the ImageGetter as a parameter to Html.fromHtml, it uses the getDrawable method that must be overridden. So there's no way to call the whole ImageGetter.execute deal that triggers the doInBackground method, and so there's no way to actually make this asynchronous.

Am I going about it completely wrong, or worse, is this impossible? Thanks


I've done something very similar (I think) to what you want to do. What I needed to do back then is parse the HTML and set it up back to TextView and I needed to use Html.ImageGetter as well and having the same problem on fetching image on the main thread.

The steps that I did basically:

  • Create my own subclass for Drawable to facilitate redraw, I called it URLDrawable
  • Return the URLDrawable in getDrawable method of Html.ImageGetter
  • Once onPostExecute is called, I redraw the container of the Spanned result

Now the code for URLDrawable is as follow

public class URLDrawable extends BitmapDrawable {
    // the drawable that you need to set, you could set the initial drawing
    // with the loading image if you need to
    protected Drawable drawable;

    public void draw(Canvas canvas) {
        // override the draw to facilitate refresh function later
        if(drawable != null) {

Simple enough, I just override draw so it would pick the Drawable that I set over there after AsyncTask finishes.

The following class is the implementation of Html.ImageGetter and the one that fetches the image from AsyncTask and update the image

public class URLImageParser implements ImageGetter {
    Context c;
    View container;

     * Construct the URLImageParser which will execute AsyncTask and refresh the container
     * @param t
     * @param c
    public URLImageParser(View t, Context c) {
        this.c = c;
        this.container = t;

    public Drawable getDrawable(String source) {
        URLDrawable urlDrawable = new URLDrawable();

        // get the actual source
        ImageGetterAsyncTask asyncTask = 
            new ImageGetterAsyncTask( urlDrawable);


        // return reference to URLDrawable where I will change with actual image from
        // the src tag
        return urlDrawable;

    public class ImageGetterAsyncTask extends AsyncTask<String, Void, Drawable>  {
        URLDrawable urlDrawable;

        public ImageGetterAsyncTask(URLDrawable d) {
            this.urlDrawable = d;

        protected Drawable doInBackground(String... params) {
            String source = params[0];
            return fetchDrawable(source);

        protected void onPostExecute(Drawable result) {
            // set the correct bound according to the result from HTTP call
            urlDrawable.setBounds(0, 0, 0 + result.getIntrinsicWidth(), 0 
                    + result.getIntrinsicHeight()); 

            // change the reference of the current drawable to the result
            // from the HTTP call
            urlDrawable.drawable = result;

            // redraw the image by invalidating the container

         * Get the Drawable from URL
         * @param urlString
         * @return
        public Drawable fetchDrawable(String urlString) {
            try {
                InputStream is = fetch(urlString);
                Drawable drawable = Drawable.createFromStream(is, "src");
                drawable.setBounds(0, 0, 0 + drawable.getIntrinsicWidth(), 0 
                        + drawable.getIntrinsicHeight()); 
                return drawable;
            } catch (Exception e) {
                return null;

        private InputStream fetch(String urlString) throws MalformedURLException, IOException {
            DefaultHttpClient httpClient = new DefaultHttpClient();
            HttpGet request = new HttpGet(urlString);
            HttpResponse response = httpClient.execute(request);
            return response.getEntity().getContent();

Finally, below is the sample program to demonstrate how things work:

String html = "Hello " +
"<img src='" + 
"f9dd8b16d54f483f22c0b7a7e3d840f9?s=32&d=identicon&r=PG'/>" +
" This is a test " +
"<img src=''/>";

this.textView = (TextView)this.findViewById(;
URLImageParser p = new URLImageParser(textView, this);
Spanned htmlSpan = Html.fromHtml(html, p, null);