HTTP/3 Adoption Made Easier by Apple

Picture of Mat Ford
Technology Insights, Internet Society
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September 30, 2020

Apple’s iOS 14 release (and upcoming MacOS 11 release) has included client support for HTTPS records, allowing connections to be upgraded to QUIC when the HTTP/3 parameter is returned in the DNS record. Apple has reported that so far, of the population that has manually enabled HTTP/3 on iOS 14, 8% of the QUIC connections had the HTTPS record response.

Enabling HTTP/3 in Safari
Enabling HTTP/3 in Safari

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a fundamental part of the World Wide Web. In addition to powering the web, HTTP is increasingly used to transfer data between Internet-connected devices of all kinds. The latest version of HTTP (HTTP/3) marks quite a radical departure from the past by adopting a completely new transport protocol (QUIC).

The ability for the Internet to embrace HTTP/3 indicates the Internet’s capacity to keep evolving and supporting new applications at all layers of the stack. As the Internet has matured, deploying new protocols to improve performance and/or security can be difficult. The introduction of a new transport protocol for something as popular and important as HTTP is a real test of the capacity of today’s Internet to continue to support innovation.

Check out the growth of HTTP/3 adoption at Internet Society Pulse.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash