Call button in google maps doesn’t open the dialer app

Bug #1447617 reported by Olivier Tilloy on 2015-04-23
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Olivier Tilloy

Bug Description

This is a regression, as this use case used to work.
Steps to reproduce:

 1) Browse to
 2) Search for any business with a phone number (e.g. Hilton Garden Inn in Austin, Texas)
 3) Tap on the bottom ribbon to display more information about the business
 4) Tap the CALL button

Expected result: the dialer app opens with the business’ phone number pre-filled

Current result: a blank tab opens, nothing seems to happen

Note that this also affects the google maps webapp, but instead of a blank tab the CALL button seems to have no action at all.

Related branches

Olivier Tilloy (osomon) wrote :

It turns out the format of the phone number in the link is to blame. For the example business I tested, the link is of the following form:

    <a target="_blank" href="tel://(512) 480-8181">CALL</a>

I initially suspected the _blank target was the problem, but it’s not (despite the fact that it makes for a bad user experience as it opens a new blank tab which then opens the dialer).

Not sure whether the problem is in oxide, url-dispatcher or dialer-app, so I’m adding tasks for all three projects until I can investigate further.

affects: webbrowser-app → oxide
Olivier Tilloy (osomon) wrote :

In oxide, in LaunchURLExternallyOnUIThread, the call to QUrl(QString::fromStdString(url.spec())) returns an invalid QUrl for "tel://(512) 480-8181", which explains why the URL dispatcher doesn’t open the dialer app.

Olivier Tilloy (osomon) wrote :

Note that removing the // separator after the scheme ("tel:") makes it a valid URL for QUrl’s constructor.

no longer affects: url-dispatcher
Changed in dialer-app:
status: New → Invalid
Olivier Tilloy (osomon) wrote :

Making it three forward slashes ("tel:///(512) 480-8181") also makes it a valid URL, for that matter. It’s really unfortunate that google maps puts only two slashes, making it an invalid URL.

Olivier Tilloy (osomon) wrote :

I guess QUrl’s parser considers "(512) 480-8181" to be the host (and it’s obviously invalid).

In contrast, it seems that the GURL we get has an empty host, but its path is "//(512) 480-8181".

Either QUrl is too strict, or GURL is more tolerant with ill-formed URLs. Either way, the conversion blows up. We could probably have some logic to try and convert the GURL to a QUrl by pieces if the constructor returns an invalid one.

Olivier Tilloy (osomon) wrote :

According to RFC 3966 (The tel URI for Telephone Numbers,, forward slashes after the scheme are not valid syntax. So QUrl’s parser is right to reject them. In contrast, GURL has a custom parser (based on third-party code from mozilla) which, for all non-standard schemes (kStandardURLSchemes), always considers the host empty.

We could probably write a custom GURL->QUrl converter with added logic to parse valid GURLs that produce invalid QUrls.

Olivier Tilloy (osomon) on 2015-04-24
Changed in oxide:
status: New → In Progress
assignee: nobody → Olivier Tilloy (osomon)
Olivier Tilloy (osomon) wrote :

I can’t reproduce the issue any longer, when I search businesses in google maps I’m now getting correctly-formed tel: links, e.g. for the Hilton Garden Inn in Austin I’m getting the following URL: "tel:(512) 480-8181", which is successfully converted to a valid QUrl.
I’ll mark the bug invalid now, will re-open in the future should the issue happen again.

Changed in oxide:
status: In Progress → Invalid
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