There Seems To Be A Problem With The New Domain Extensions and The iPhone

This weekend I was trying to look at a few new sites that have popped-up on some of the latest-and-greatest new gTLDs and I found a pretty big issue. First, I’m not trying to ring the alarm here, I’m sure this issue will be fixed but without a doubt it is an issue that new TLD owners and registries will have to work with.

Here’s the issue, and since I only have an iPhone this is the only mobile platform I’ve tested on. I’ll walk you through a few examples so you can try it for yourself.

Suppose you find-out about a cool new website that just popped up on bingo.guru, and since you’re a bingo nut you want to read all the awesome tips and tricks they have to share. So you fire up Safari on your iPhone and type in the URL bar, Bingo.guru…but instead of going to Bingo.guru (which is would do if you type in Bingo.com, Bingo.net, Bingo.org, Bingo.co, Bingo.me, etc.) it instead does a Google search for “bingo.guru.”

I did the same test with a few other TLDs and ran-into the same issue. For example I own Morgan.xyz which when I type into my browser on my desktop navigates to a Go Daddy parking page…but when I type it into Safari on my iPhone it does a Google search for “morgan.xyz” which has this as its first result:

Houston, we have a problem. My guess is that Apple is just playing catch-up but in the near-term it’s hard to ignore this given that over 50% of my traffic comes from mobile and the same is true for many people.

I’m interested to know if anyone has tried this on Android and if they are experiencing the same issue. On the plus side, the video of the dancing baby (also named Morgan) is pretty darn cute.

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Travis August 11, 2014, 10:51 am

    Same problem on my Android. It’s irritating lol.

    Reply
  • KP August 11, 2014, 11:30 am

    Same thing is happening on Android also.

    Reply
  • Jothan Frakes August 11, 2014, 11:50 am

    Morgan-

    I am a Mac lover (since 1984) and I reckon I have a little bit of religion on how Safari behaves due to the time I have lost to this issue, but Safari seems to have become a ‘tick the box next to being able to say we have a browser’ for Apple.

    I have beaten my head against this wall, and many of the new TLD operators are as well – and the registrants of domains under some of the new TLDs.

    The core problem (get it, Apple … Core ;)?) is that in general the developer community has been able to code against a fairly stagnant list of what could be considered TLDs for the better part of 15-20 years. Programmers want to be efficient, and the most efficient manner to do whatever automagical logic inside browsers has been to use a static list – and with the legacy rate of namespace expansion, that worked. Now, at THIS moment, we’re seeing ICANN contracting and introducing to the root up to 20 TLDs per week, up to a thousand per year. So that static list goes through some major changes as it is updated.

    I help with the group of community volunteers at Mozilla to maintain what we refer to as ‘the least awful but most comprehensive list of TLDs (we descend into more detail inside of each namespace, like .UK has CO.UK, ORG.UK and AU has COM.AU etc.)

    Apple seems to take snapshots of the TLD list from the Public Suffix List (I am a community volunteer helping to maintain this list in addition to my NamesCon efforts.

    Apple’s Safari is similar to Google Chrome, in that it uses a single entry box for all things, search or URL. Google has very frequent updates for Chrome, Apple has infrequent updates for Safari, AND their logic about sending strings that are input which contain a dot and no spaces to DNS is severely flawed.

    I, and many from the community have taken the time to navigate through Apple’s bug reporting system to help identify the problem Safari has – which takes a long time to find precisely what and where and how to report the issue, which is an investment of >20-30 minutes of time.

    After submitting the bug into the black hole, after 2-3 days an anonymous coward admin role sends the person reporting the bug a soul-crushing email telling you that the bug you files is a duplicate (don’t say of what or if it is being addressed or when) and is being closed.

    There are a few things in play:
    1] Safari has a fundamental bug in how they handle where to direct the input traffic if there’s no space and there is a dot in the string.
    2] Safari takes a snapshot and does a code freeze with whatever static list was there at the time; (and each platform behaves differently and is in separate dev cycle so different moments in time)
    3] Safari updates are not terribly frequent.
    4] Apple is disconnected about the weight of the issue – “Yeah, we know about this issue, piss off”

    Takeaways: Chrome works on iOS devices – use it. if you MUST use Safari to demo a new TLD registration, often if you use a trailing slash, it works correctly.

    Reply
  • Michael August 11, 2014, 12:29 pm

    Morgan did you download the updates for your Iphone? I have an iPhone 5 and mine works just fine when I type in bingo.guru and morgan.xyz It goes to the website not Google search.

    Reply
  • Morgan August 11, 2014, 3:12 pm

    Good catch @Michael – you are correct! Updated and everything is working as it should 🙂 Now it looks like it just has to be fixed for Android and we are officially living in the future!

    Reply

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