Google finally fixes odd networking bug after two and a half years
Do you remember 2010? Android 2.1 was all the rage and the HTC Desire was the phone to own. Joonas Lehtolahti remembers it too. He had a problem with the Wi-Fi network at his university. Because it was an open, un-encrypted network students could connect without needing a password, but to get out onto the Internet you needed to login via a special server. Without getting technical the redirect to this login server used just the hostname “joynet” rather than its full domain name “joynet.joensuu.fi”. OK, so what? Well the problem is that with Android that meant that the name couldn’t be resolved. The result was that students at the university couldn’t access the Internet from an Android device.
Joonas faithfully filed a bug report with Google and the clock started ticking. Other people started noticing the same bug, a few corporate users noticed that it was also an issue for them. Android 2.2 was released, no fix. Android 2.3 come out, no fix. By 2011 tablet mania had struck and Honeycomb was released along with the Motorola Xoom… Still no fix. One user reported that he was trying to use his Xoom at work to show that it was better than an iPad because it had Flash support. But because of this bug the Xoom and Android was “not looking so good!”
2011 came and went. By 2012 users were starting to get rightly annoyed. “Come’on guys!! This is like more than a year old bug!! And not just a bug, but a major bug! My colleague has a Blackberry and he doesn’t have this problem,” wrote Theo van der Sluijs. “Please Google make this work. If not… a lot of companies will never use Android.”
By April 2012 things reached boiling point. Some users suggested it was best to root phones to get around this, one user pointed out how “19,000 employees” in his company couldn’t use the company’s Intranet from any Android device.
Finally, as it looked like the bug would live on into 2013, a Google employee updated the bug to say it had been fixed thanks to one Keven Tang. The news is that it will be in the “next major release” but the Googler couldn’t or wouldn’t comment on which version that would be. All he would say is “it will be after 4.2, which has already gone out.”
The moral of the story, well there isn’t one except maybe what Troy Gerrie wrote, “Too little too late, bought a Surface and i’m loving it. Next up, Lumia 920.”