Google shelves plans to add support for another private DNS standard in Android 13

Google shelves plans to add support for another private DNS standard in Android 13

Android currently offers support for one private DNS standard — DNS-over-TLS (DoT). However, Google has been working on adding native support for another private DNS standard for a while. In September last year, we spotted a code change in AOSP suggesting that Google planned on adding native support for the DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) standard in Android 13. But a recently merged commit indicates that the company might have had a change of heart.

According to the recently merged code change, Google won’t enable DoH in Android 13 by default. The commit’s description states: “DoH: Don’t enable it in T by default.” While this statement doesn’t mean that Google is completely abandoning plans to add native DoH support to Android, it does clarify that that won’t happen in Android 13 Tiramisu. At the moment, we have no further details on the matter. But we’ll make sure to let you know as soon as we learn more.

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For the unaware, DoT and DoH are private DNS standards that encrypt communications between your device and the Domain Name Server (DNS). Although both standards perform the same function, DoT uses TLS (also known as SSL) to encrypt DNS traffic, while DoH uses HTTP or HTTP/2 protocols to send queries and responses instead of directly over UDP (User Data Protocol).

Both standards also use different ports, with DoT using a dedicated port for DNS traffic and DoH using port 443 — the same port that all other HTTP traffic uses. This means that all your DNS traffic blends with other HTTPS traffic when using DoH, which makes monitoring and blocking DoH queries a lot more complex. These differences give DoH a slight advantage from a privacy standpoint. For this reason, we were looking forward to getting native DoH support in Android 13. Unfortunately, we might have to wait another year for Google to add native DoH support to Android.

Thanks to XDA Recognized Developer luca020400 and Mishaal Rahman for the tip!

About author

Pranob Mehrotra
Pranob Mehrotra

A Literature and Linguistics graduate with a keen interest in everything Android. When not writing about tech, Pranob spends most of his time either playing League of Legends or lurking on Reddit.

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