Let’s say you want to visit a website built on one of the new gTLD domain names from your iPhone. If you type that domain name into your browser bar using Safari, the default Internet browser for the iPhone, you’ll be taken to a Google search page instead of the website you intended to visit. [Update: This only happens if you don’t have the newest version of Safari.]
According to a thread in the Apple Support Community started on April 10th as well as some personal testing, Safari doesn’t seem to be recognizing the new gTLD domain names as being valid urls yet. Other browsers don’t seem to have an issue with this, and it is unclear why this remains an issue, similar to the issue related to Skype not recognizing new gTLD domain names.
In order to visit a new gTLD website using Safari on the iPhone, you must do one of two things:
- Enter the url in the browser bar with the leading http://
- Visit Google, search for the website, and click through to the website via the search page
From what I understand, once you visit a website built on a new gTLD one time, Safari will recognize it going forward. If you haven’t visited that website before, it’s not as simple as navigating directly to the website.
According to NetMarketShare.com, Safari only has a 5.68% market share for desktop Internet browsing, so this in’t a major issue right now for people who use their desktop computers to browse the Internet. On mobile though, Safari has a commanding 53.91% market share, making it more of an issue.
I would bet that Apple will make an update to Safari in the near future that will eliminate this problem, but obviously I have no idea when that will happen nor do I know if that is a certainty. In the meantime, it is something to be aware of if you are planning on developing a website on a new gTLD domain name, especially if it’s a topical website that is time sensitive.
Thanks to Bram for sharing this with me.
Update: After publishing this article and hearing some feedback, I installed the latest version of Safari for my computer (version 6.1.3), and it now allows me to directly navigate to new gTLD websites without sending me to a Google search page.