Can you remember what you were doing back in April, 2010? Probably the biggest news for us was the arrival of the first Apple iPad, but at least one Android user was spending his time trying to figure out why Android 2.1 was having so much trouble resolving certain domain names. Once he had a better understanding of just what was going wrong, he submitted a bug report to Google… where it sat for the following two-and-half years. Over that time, dozens of other users chimed-in with their own experiences running across the same bug, and collectively they voiced their frustration with Google’s seeming indifference to the problem. Good things come to those who wait, and earlier today, a whopping 938 days later, a Googler posted to the thread that the issue has finally been resolved, with a fix arriving in a future Android release.
Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of this bug, as it only creeps-up under some pretty specific circumstances. Basically, when you connect an Android device to a WiFi network, the platform is unable to look up local hostnames without specifying the full domain. So, if you were to connect to a WiFi network hosted by pocketnow.com, Android wouldn’t be able to resolve the IP for a computer referred to just as “appserver” unless the URL included the full “appserver.pocketnow.com” name. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if your university or business set up its WiFi network to behave in a specific way, assuming that those hostnames would be easily resolved, Android phones would end up choking.
We suppose that the lesson here is to show patience when waiting for bugfixes. Just because you don’t see progress doesn’t mean that the issue’s been forgotten.