Domain news

All the latest news in domain names.

Google launches .app on March 29

Google secured the rights to the top level domain .app with a winning bid of US$25 million through an ICANN auction with 12 other participants. This is the third highest amount paid for a new generic top level domain behind .shop and .web

.app, short for applications, offers a creative way to promote apps and a great place to showcase a unique and trustworthy destination. In 2017 there were according to 197 billion mobile apps downloaded worldwide, forecasted to surpass 352 billion in 2021 with gross consumer spend across all the app stores to surpass $139 billion.

The .APP new generic top-level domain will open up a whole new namespace for application developers wanting to create a home for their product. Using .APP can help applications stand out from the competition as opposed to using a longer URL with .COM or another existing top-level domain. .APP will also attract visitors and customers in search of the latest technology to make their lives easier. The .app gTLD would allow users to easily recognize a Web site dedicated to an application or related product or service.

.app is offered as a more secure domain for apps. The .app new gTLD will also have the added security protocol of HSTS for all domain names registered under it. HTTP Strict Transport Security is a simple, yet powerful web security policy that secures HTTPS websites against MITM attacks. It causes the compliant browsers to enforce security practices by automatically turning all HTTP links into HTTPS links.

Switching from HTTP to secure HTTPS connections (with SSL) offers the best defense against downgrade attacks. Even when in a compromised network, an attacker cannot make the browser use the insecure HTTP connection.

HSTS ensures all communication is encrypted and all sent and received responses are delivered to – and received from – the authenticated server.

The important dates for .app:

March 29 – May 1: Sunrise; trademark holders can pre-register .app domain names

May 1 – May 8: Early access period; anyone can pre-register domain name of their choosing to a somewhat higher fee.

May 8: General Availability; anyone can register a .app domain name

Google applied for over 50 new gTLDs in round 1 including .BRAND TLDs such as .GOOG and .GOOGLE, which they are actively using to promote brand content. Originally Google applied for .app on the grounds of a closed ngTLD for the sole use of Google and it subsidiaries but this was changed to an open generic after ICANN banned closed generic TLDs in the first round.

Looking ahead, Google also has plans to launch .dev in 2018, but hasn’t publicly announced dates or details yet. Google has a firm determination to stimulate the ngTLD name space and to create innovation in the domain industry. It is with great anticipation we will monitor the launch of .app.

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