21
Nov
2012-11-21_15h59_18

This likely won't affect too many average users, but if you happen to work in a business or university with an open wireless network that relies on an internal hostname within a domain for any redirection, you're in a bit of luck. Up until this point, there's been a bug in Android that makes it impossible for the system to resolve a hostname on a local domain to its proper IP address.

Here's the bug report filed by a user back in April 2010:

Shortly: When connected on WiFi to a network which specifies a domain name, hostnames in that domain do not resolve without appending the domain to the hostname.

As background, our university has a wireless network open to students so that the network itself is "open", not secured, but no traffic past the gateway is allowed prior authentication using a web browser. In particular, if you try to access any web page with a web browser before
authentication, you will always be redirected to https://joynet:443/login Only once you have successfully logged in on that page, all network connections work as you'd expect them to normally work.

The problem is that the hostname (in this case "joynet") cannot be resolved to its IP address. When I do ping to joynet on my laptop, it says it is pinging "joynet.joensuu.fi" [192.168.0.1]. If I do the same on Android phone, using Android Debug Bridge (adb), for "ping joynet" it says it cannot find the hostname. If I do "ping joynet.joensuu.fi", it pings correctly on 192.168.0.1.

And this brings the problem that since the joynet gateway HTTPS server only shows the login form when hostname "joynet" is used in the HTTP headers, it makes it impossible to use WiFi on such networks because logging in is not possible. (going to https://joynet.joensuu.fi:443/login or https://192.168.0.1:443/login simply causes a redirection to https://joynet:443/login)

It doesn't affect a huge majority of users, but it's certainly a problem for a few IT professionals as well as students/employees of some organizations. That being said, a Google employee has informed everyone today that this bug has been fixed and will rollout with the next major Android release:

Guys, it was a matter of prioritization and resources.  We don't have people to put on every requested feature and we certainly were not idle during this time.  I apologize it took so long.

I can't say what the next version will be (neither know it nor can discuss it) but it will be after 4.2, which has already gone out.

Of course, this means that the fix won't be a part of the 4.2 Jelly Bean update that just came out. Nor is it part of the previous Jelly Bean release that still only accounts for 2.7% of all devices so far. Of course, to keep this in perspective, most users haven't even encountered this issue, so it will be easy to suddenly care about the two-and-a-half-year delay fix to this bug and get in a huff, but that would be a little silly. However, it does highlight that even in a modern OS like Android, there are still things that need to be addressed, and even once a problem is fixed, it could still take a while for the update to rollout.

Source: Google

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • DeadSOL

    El Goog; taking it like men! :)

    Apple's reply would have been: You're holding it wrong.

    • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

      Sadly, if Apple does fix a bug like that in their OS update, most iOS devices will receive the fix within a short period of time. In our world, you might have to buy a new phone to receive such update.

      • adi19956

        That's why Nexus

        • 8Charlie

          I have a Nexus, I have the problem and it still isn't fixed. And people that bought the Nexus One or Nexus S will never have this issue fixed. So I'm not sure about that "That's why Nexus".

          • adi19956

            Just a little joke, but the Nexus S was supported for 2 years, that's really good. As in it got all the features every time, Apple never does that. I digress

          • 8Charlie

            My bad, guess I'm just irritated that it took them almost 3 years to even give a statement about when it might be fixed.

            And the Nexus didn't get all the features every time, it didn't get Face Unlock.

            Then you have the GNex yakju, takju, yakjuxw, jakjuwhatever debacle. Which sometimes meant you might as well have bought a Galaxy S2 really.

          • Nick Verschragen

            Excuse me? I have a Galaxy Nexus and have been using Face unlock since I bought it.

            The only time it meant that is if you were stupid enough to buy a nexus phone on contract, even then, only with specific providers.

          • 8Charlie

            I meant the Nexus S, Face Unlock debuted on the GNex, yes. I have one too.

          • Nick Verschragen

            People with iPhone 3 won't have the latest iOS either.

            Such is the life of smartphones.

          • 8Charlie

            I agree with you 100%. But this is not a feature that they're missing out on. This is s bug that should've been resolved a long time ago.

          • http://wakoopa.com/yo2boy yo2boy

            But hey, at least there's custom ROMs that will have the fix! Even if the device is performing extremely slow, the bug is patched. Not the case with an iDevice that loses support from Apple.

    • Mapekz

      To be fair, Apple wouldn't reply at all. They wouldn't publicly acknowledge the issue but would stealth fix it in the next minor update. They aren't total douche bags; just Steve Jobs was.

    • 8Charlie

      Uhm? They resolve the issue almost 3 years later? El Goog; what a b*tch.

      I've been having this problem for a long time already. And its been driving me crazy. And every single iPhone seems to work perfectly. I'm normally the first to badmouth Apple. But when I consider how many problems the GNex has with WiFi: very weak radio, a lot of problems with 802.11n and this problem with connecting to public or corporate networks. Gotta give Apple the respect it deserves in this case. I could be sitting next to an iPhone user and he has a good and fast connection and my GNex would have a weak and slow connection. That's if it somehow managed to resolve the domain.

      Google had just let this problem exist for almost three years, coz there is enough information about it on their own support forum. But for so long it was simply ignored.

      • Yik Sheng Lee

        hmm ... strange, i really do not encounter any of these problems you mentioned and i am able to use my GN well in the settings you raised.

      • chrisinsocalif

        At my work they use an 802.1x EAP PEAP wifi where androids users are able to get on without issues but iphone users cannot. It has been this way for the 2 years I have worked there. So Apple are not without their problems.

    • 8Charlie

      And it'll get fixed in the NEXT version of Android. Of which we have no release date and of which probably 95% of Android users will have to either buy a new phone or wait a year to actually have this problem "fixed".

  • Wynnded

    And that next release will be called......? ;-p

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Lupus. It's always Lupus.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

        IT'S NOT LUPUS.

        • cy_n_ic

          Sarcoidosis?

  • Francoislr

    Finally! Been such a thorn in my side!

  • Nick

    My wife's hospital has this type of network. When WiFi shows up and I have to open the browser to login. My Galaxy nexus connects to it just fine. This must be specific to certain networks too?

    • notemodder

      I've had to connect to atleast 3 or 4 networks of that type and it has always worked fine for me, even on multiple phones. I can say over the past 2.5 yrs ive had 4 different android phones

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Maybe they use a fully qualified domain name rather than a local host? Something like http://login.bla.foo.att.com/hi as opposed to http://login/hi.

        • 8Charlie

          Exactly. Some networks have it, but some don't. And telling a university to change a network that 50000-students use is not an option. Furthermore, it should just work. The way it does on all PCs, iPhones, BB etc.

  • coversnails

    It would be nice if Google would actually be more communicative sometimes, I dont mind that they say they don't have the manpower to fix a bug but they could at least acknowledge it. That bug is one of the highest starred on the aosp tracker and its taken them 2 years to respond.

  • Tatsuya

    Google not having the manpower... lol
    Hire people you greedy b@$%@¤µ!!

    • Mapekz

      It's the Android team not having the manpower. Google makes more than Android, i.e. all the Google services that make Android worth anything to begin with.

      If the Android team blew up in size the iterations of the product would be much slower. It's better they stay small and agile and operate like a startup within a larger company to ensure the OS remains competitive and innovative. All Google needs to do is throw money at Rubin's team, hardware partners for Nexi devices, and marketing.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        I'm with you on that. It's extremely hard to grow a team dedicated to the same project to a much larger size.

        And then there's the talent. Google has to be very selective to hire only the best, and the laws of supply and demand teach us that in that case, they can't just blow up the team like Walmart during Christmas. Then the product will go to shit even faster.

        • Mapekz

          It's also the same reason why every other Google service for the most part is so good. When it comes to big data sure they may have a separate big team but the team working on the user-facing product itself is smaller than in other corporations. Less overhead = rapid iteration = more releases = increased gap between second place competitor.

  • Rogério

    What about the lack of proxy authentication? That is a shame also, and so far it wasn't acknowledged.

  • http://www.buttie.pl/ buttie

    I wonder when (if ever) this bug will be fixed:
    http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=19406

  • JonJJon

    Shame the fix will be out and probably not on my phone well after I finish uni next year. Been going through uni switching WiFi on and off to get eduroam to work this long, can go a little longer.

  • Kamil Romański

    Uhm. I have mixed feelings about that.. That is great that they finally fixed this issue, but it looks like issues with stuff like wrong handling of regional accents on 4.2 swipe keyboard could be fixed more or less... never :/

  • Jeremy Kitson

    We have this issue internally on our network all of the time and thus we end up connecting via IP. This will be great to have fixed!

  • tylerwatt12

    Google probably had to re-write the entire TCP/IP stack. lol

  • Floss

    Yah, I'm still waiting for them to fix the disappearing widgets/accounts for paid apps that they screwed up in Jelly Bean six months ago and still haven't even acknowledged.

  • Sootie

    Have they fixed the andorid phones not being able to connect to adhoc wifi networks yet? very embarrassing when you have the skill to setup your computer to share the hotels wired internet with all your traveling buddies who have iphones but then explain to them that android is better even though your phone cant connect to the network and theirs can

    • Sootie

      and apologies for swearing lol

      • DeadSOL

        Where on Earth did you swear? I'm still trying to look for swear words. :p

        • Sootie

          Haha starts with a lower case letter then has a capital for no reason (though not in my post)

  • hasan

    There's also another bug that's been on Android since it's beginning. Downloading files from a secure https site always gives errors! It's really annoying because all my university stuff are on a https site.

  • dsfasd

    There are way more bugs which are way more serious and never getting fixed...

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=772695370 Myco Sys

    Bit confused why an 'IT pro' wouldnt just use the hosts file to fix this?

    • Eric

      because dynamic IP?

      • Myco Sys

        LMAO it doesnt matter if your IP is dynamic - just as long as THEIRS isnt. a simple line
        joynet 192.168.0.1
        In the host file would fix your problem, and wont matter on any other nework unlless they have a server called joynet too.
        Its a HOSTS file, not a guests file!

  • Eric

    This still isn't fixed... Lazy bastards.