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Google's new .app domain utilises HTTPS by default

(Image credit: Image Credit: Denis Linine / Shutterstock)

In an effort to help iOS and Android developers promote their apps outside of the App Store and Play Store, Google has announced the launch of its .app top-level domain (TLD). 

The company paid $25m for the TLD back in 2015 when ICANN began auctioning off new generic TLDs in 2012. 

Business and developers looking for their own .app domain can register through Google's Early Access Program up until May 7th.  After that, anyone can register their own .app domain using any domain registrar. 

Google views the new domain as another way in which iOS and Android developers can promote their apps outside of official stores and .app pages can be used as a landing page to share links to apps or to keep current users up to date on new versions of an app. 

The company's new TLD also stands out from a security perspective as it is the first to use secure HTTPS connections by default using either HSTS or HTTPS Strict Transport Security.  Normally a site would have to request to be added to an HSTS preload list (opens in new tab) but as a result of Google's TLD-wide HSTS, sites using the .app TLD will no longer have to do this. 

The company has been trying to make the Internet a safer place by promoting HTTPS recently and it even went as far as to mark sites that use HTTP as insecure (opens in new tab) in the latest version of Chrome. 

VP, CIO and Chief Domains Enthusiast at Google, Ben Fried explained how its new .app domain will spread HTTPS adoption, saying: 

“A key benefit of the .app domain is that security is built in—for you and your users. The big difference is that HTTPS is required to connect to all .app websites, helping protect against ad malware and tracking injection by ISPs, in addition to safeguarding against spying on open WiFi networks. Because .app will be the first TLD with enforced security made available for general registration, it's helping move the web to an HTTPS-everywhere future in a big way.” 

Businesses and developers interested in getting their own .app domain (opens in new tab) can sign up on Google's site. 

Image Credit: Denis Linine / Shutterstock

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.