Google said today that Chrome for Android will soon support DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH), a protocol that encrypts and secures DNS queries to boos user privacy.
DoH support is already available for desktop versions of the Chrome browser since May, since the release of Chrome 83; however, the feature was never added to the Android and iOS versions.
In a short blog post today, Google said that it has now decided to enable the feature for Android users, where it will progressively enable DoH inside Chrome mobile browsers over the coming weeks.
All users who have updated to Chrome for Android 85 will, at one point or another, see a new option in their browser’s settings, titled “Secure DNS.”
The Secure DNS option will be disabled by default, but after users enable it, Chrome will begin attempting to make DNS queries in an encrypted form (via DoH) and use classic plaintext DNS only as a fallback.
Under the hood, Google said the feature works identically to the desktop versions of Chrome, meaning that users don’t have to tinker with their native OS-level DNS settings.
Instead, Chrome’s DoH feature, once enabled, will take the system-wide DNS server addresses and probe to see if the DNS servers have a DoH interface the browser can use.
If the DNS server has one, all subsequent DNS queries will be managed via DoH. If not, classic DNS will be used.
But if the local ISP doesn’t provide DoH-friendly DNS servers, users can also use a second option inside Chrome named “Choose another provider” and add the IP address of the DNS server they want to use. Since this option is configured inside Chrome’s settings, it only applies to Chrome for Android, and not to the entire Android OS.
Furthermore, Google says that Chrome for Android will disable DoH if it finds that the smartphone is part of a managed environment where IT staff use enterprise policies to control smartphone fleets for security reasons.
Support for DoH on Chrome for iOS is still a long way away, as Apple has only recently added support for the DoH protocols to iOS and macOS.