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Google's .app domains: Everything you need to know
Google wants to help app developers, both Android and iOS, market their apps. To assist with this, the company has launched the .app domain extension this week, an all-new top-level domain (TLD) aimed at app creators.
Google acquired exclusive rights to .app domains in an auction in 2015 for $25m, but it only opened the doors to them yesterday.
If you want to learn more about what .app domains are and how they work, check out our guide to Google’s new venture below.
What is a .app domain?
Who are .app domains for?
The .app domains are likely to appeal to app developers first and foremost (for reasons I’ll get to in a moment), but anybody can register one.
What are the benefits of owning a .app domain?
In practice, a .app domain will behave the same as any other website, but there are two factors that make it stand out.
The first is visibility: searching for dedicated app websites will be easier, as .app domains will indicate that the website concerns a specific app (product rather it being a news vertical, video platform, or any other type of website).
The other benefit, outlined below, relates to security.
What’s this about .app’s HTTPS encryption?
Google wants .app domains to be a secure space. For this reason, it is making Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) encryption mandatory for all .app domains.
HTTPS itself has been around for decades and is available for other domains also. It helps protect websites against threats like malware, spyware, and other kinds of tracking.
Google is aiming for an HTTPS future and will label HTTP sites (HTTPS’ less secure predecessor) as “not secure” in Google Chrome from July 2018.
With that in mind, the .apps domain will be is the first top-level domain (TLD) to include the HTTPS security protocol built-in feature.
This stands to make .apps domains an attractive prospect for app developers — given how important security in the apps sphere is — and could ease the minds of those visiting the domain, particularly if the website includes software download links.
How do I get a .app domain?
Google opened up .app to the world yesterday and you can acquire domains through major registrars like Google Domains, GoDaddy, NameCheap et cetera.
To get your hands on one, visit get.app today ad and type in your domain name of choice to get started.
How much do .app domains cost?
Prices vary depending on your chosen registrar, and more expensive premium domain options are available, but the majority come in at around $12-$14 per year via Google Domains right now.
You’re unlikely to encounter many .app domains as you go about your business right now, and they may not take off at all. Don’t be surprised to see them adopted by top app creators in future, though.
Hit us up in the comments with any further questions and let us know what you think of the new .app domains.