Google has opened up its .app domain three years after paying $25 million to acquire exclusive rights to use the top-level domain (TLD). The .app domain comes baked with security features that allows web app to stay secure.
The .app domain is among other top-level domains that also include .com and .net and Google wants to make the TLD a safe haven for web apps. The registration for the domain will start from May 2, 9AM PT, and run through May 7 via Google’s Early Access Program. After that, from May 8, the domains will go on sale for the masses.
The new .app domain has been coveted by app developers for a long time as it offers an easy-to-remember name for a web app. Google has also mandated everyone using the domain to use HTTPS to encrypt the websites. The built-in security prevents users against ad malware and tracking injections by ISPs apart from safeguarding users against spying on open Wi-Fi networks. As a result, the .app domain will be the first TLD to be enforced with security protocols and made available for general registration.
The move is part of Google’s HTTPS-everywhere vision for the web. Last year, the search giant observed that 64 percent of traffic on the Chrome browser on Android was protected with HTTPS, while on Windows PC, that number was 66 percent and for Macs it was 75 percent. The high percentage of secure traffic is part of Google’s efforts to make HTTPS mainstream. Google recently decided to flag all websites without HTTPS as “insecure” along with downranking them on search results.
Before the public launch of the domain, the .app TLD was offered by Google to a few candidates to showcase the potential use cases. They include web apps like The Podcast App, Pickle, Cash App, Sitata, and more.
It’s also not neccessary for just app developers to use the domain as it available for everyone. Although, Google did suggest the domain makes the most sense for apps.
Google didn’t disclose the pricing of the domains though. In an interview with Domain Name Wire, as reported by TechCrunch, Google said it wants make the domain affordable and hinted it will be priced less than its other TLDs that include .how or .soy.