Droid Does IPv6!

Copyright 2010, NETFLIX This week, I have been getting used to my new phone, which is a Motorola Droid, running Android 2.1. One of my primary interests was to “see if I could get IPv6 working”, since it is based on a recent Linux kernel (which does IPv6). I looked into how to get the kernel source, and what environment I would need to recompile it, and reading web posts about people who tried, in vain to figure out “how to get IPv6 working on Android”, without a single useful answer.

For the uninitiated, “Android” is a mobile operating system (or more specifically a “software stack”), driven by (IPv6 bastion) Google, and “Droid” is a motorola phone, one of many phones which run Android.

On about my 8th day thinking about this, it occurred to me to try loading an IPv6-only web page. It worked the first time. I felt foolish.

As it turns out, Android has been doing native IPv6 on the 802.11 (WiFi) interface since about November 2009, if the device in question supports an Android version that supports 2.X firmware (not all do).

To answer the obvious question: iPhone doesn’t. Plans are in place, however, to include it in upcoming iPhone OS 4.0.

Read more in Derek Morr’s blog

Here’s what Droid really does: native IPv6 when it sees router advertisements. Interestingly, it doesn’t do 6to4, although a “rooted” Android 2.1 device can be coaxed to do so, even though the 6to4 connectivity is incomplete, which is really a more important issue.  Since Apple Mac OS X Leopard (plain and Snow), MS Windows Vista and 7, and some other OSes will do 6to4 when it is ordered up by the user or by certain applications, those using Verizon as a 3G provider for their laptops may find certain things unreachable.

This may be due in part to obstinacy by Verizon Business. See:

Verizon Refuses to Provide Complete IPv6,
Oct 3rd, 2009 by Roller Network.

But it doesn’t explain why one can’t reach various educational and research institutions.

In order to see how to enable 6to4 through your 3G connection on (rooted) Android, see my post:

Droid does… (6to4 over Verizon 3G)
11:21, May 12th, 2010 at ipv6hawaii.org

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