Media & Entertainment

Google is launching .app domains, the first TLDs secured with built-in HTTPS

Comment

Image Credits: TechCrunch

Over three years after Google paid $25 million to gain the exclusive rights to the “.app” top-level domain, the company is at last making .app domains available to register starting today and running through May 7, at 9 AM PDT via Google’s Early Access Program. The following day, May 8, the domains will go on sale for the general public, including through other registrars.

The new top-level domain (TLD) is an obvious choice for app developers and others in the tech industry, as it serves as an easy-to-remember alternative to .com domains – where inventory has long been running low for popular words.

In addition to the expected demand, Google is requiring HTTPS for all. app websites. This built-in security protects against ad malware, tracking injection by internet service providers, and safeguards against spying on open Wi-Fi networks, the company explains.

Google has been an advocate of pushing the web towards HTTPS adoption, noting last fall that 64 percent of traffic through its Chrome browser on Android was protected, up from 42 percent the year before. Chrome traffic on Mac was up to 75 percent, and on Windows up to 66 percent at the same time. The increases were due to a number of actions on Google’s part, including its decision to flag all websites using HTTP to transmit private information as “insecure.”

This year, Google said it would mark all pages without HTTPS encryption as insecure starting in July with the launch of Chrome 68.

Given its plans, it makes sense that Google’s new domain addition would also include HTTPS protection built-in.

Still, it’s something of a milestone, Google notes.

“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,” the company writes in its announcement of the new TLD.

Prior to the public launch of .app, Google had reached out to potential candidates, offering them a first crack at grabbing a .app domain in order to showcase the potential use cases. Some of those who are already live on .app domains include Outdoor Voices, Cash App, Sitata, Albert, Picnic, Trail, BNEXT, Bark, CallApp, The Podcast App, Pickle, MenaVR and many others from around the world. (A list is here.)

The company also removed the requirement that limited the domain to app developers, though Google suggests the name makes the most sense in that market.

In an interview last month with Domain Name Wire, Google said that it aims to make .app domains affordable – it expects the pricing to be less than its other TLDs like .how or .soy, for example. The site said that would mean wholesale pricing would be around $10-12 and retail registrations would be $20. (Pricing was not detailed in today’s announcement, however.)

Interested .app domain shoppers can register their domain of choice today through May 7, 2018 starting at 9 AM PDT, if they want to pay the additional fee for early access ahead of the domain’s launch to the public through other registrars.

More info is on the get.app website.

Correction: EAP begins today and continues through May 7; apologies for the error

More TechCrunch

Tags

Stack AI’s co-founders, Antoni Rosinol and Bernardo Aceituno, were PhD students at MIT wrapping up their degrees in 2022 just as large language models were becoming more mainstream. ChatGPT would…

Stack AI wants to make it easier to build AI-fueled workflows

Pinecone, the vector database startup founded by Edo Liberty, the former head of Amazon’s AI Labs, has long been at the forefront of helping businesses augment large language models (LLMs)…

Pinecone launches its serverless vector database out of preview

Young geothermal energy wells can be like budding prodigies, each brimming with potential to outshine their peers. But like people, most decline with age. In California, for example, the amount…

Special mud helps XGS Energy get more power out of geothermal wells

The market play is clear from the outset: The $449 headphones are firmly targeted at an audience that would otherwise be purchasing the Bose QC Ultra or Apple AirPods Max.

Sonos finally made some headphones

Adobe says the feature is up to the task, regardless of how complex of a background the object is set against.

Adobe brings Firefly AI-powered Generative Remove to Lightroom

All cars suffer when the mercury drops, but electric vehicles suffer more than most as heaters draw more power and batteries charge more slowly as the liquid electrolyte inside thickens.…

Porsche invests in battery startup South 8 to boost cold-weather EV performance

Scale AI has raised a $1 billion Series F round from a slew of big-name institutional and corporate investors including Amazon and Meta.

Data-labeling startup Scale AI raises $1B as valuation doubles to $13.8B

The new coalition, Tech Against Scams, will work together to find ways to fight back against the tools used by scammers and to better educate the public against financial scams.

Meta, Match, Coinbase and others team up to fight online fraud and crypto scams

It’s a wrap: European Union lawmakers have given the final approval to set up the bloc’s flagship, risk-based regulations for artificial intelligence.

EU Council gives final nod to set up risk-based regulations for AI

London-based fintech Vitesse has closed a $93 million Series C round of funding led by investment giant KKR.

Vitesse, a payments and treasury management platform for insurers, raises $93M to fuel US expansion

Zen Educate, an online marketplace that connects schools with teachers, has raised $37 million in a Series B round of funding. The raise comes amid a growing teacher shortage crisis…

Zen Educate raises $37M and acquires Aquinas Education as it tries to address the teacher shortage

“When I heard the released demo, I was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine.”

Scarlett Johansson says that OpenAI approached her to use her voice

A new self-driving truck — manufactured by Volvo and loaded with autonomous vehicle tech developed by Aurora Innovation — could be on public highways as early as this summer.  The…

Aurora and Volvo unveil self-driving truck designed for a driverless future

The European venture capital firm raised its fourth fund as fund as climate tech “comes of age.”

ETF Partners raises €285M for climate startups that will be effective quickly — not 20 years down the road

Copilot, Microsoft’s brand of generative AI, will soon be far more deeply integrated into the Windows 11 experience.

Microsoft wants to make Windows an AI operating system, launches Copilot+ PCs

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. For those who haven’t heard, the first crewed launch of Boeing’s Starliner capsule has been pushed back yet again to no earlier than…

TechCrunch Space: Star(side)liner

When I attended Automate in Chicago a few weeks back, multiple people thanked me for TechCrunch’s semi-regular robotics job report. It’s always edifying to get that feedback in person. While…

These 81 robotics companies are hiring

The top vehicle safety regulator in the U.S. has launched a formal probe into an April crash involving the all-electric VinFast VF8 SUV that claimed the lives of a family…

VinFast crash that killed family of four now under federal investigation

When putting a video portal in a public park in the middle of New York City, some inappropriate behavior will likely occur. The Portal, the vision of Lithuanian artist and…

NYC-Dublin real-time video portal reopens with some fixes to prevent inappropriate behavior

Longtime New York-based seed investor, Contour Venture Partners, is making progress on its latest flagship fund after lowering its target. The firm closed on $42 million, raised from 64 backers,…

Contour Venture Partners, an early investor in Datadog and Movable Ink, lowers the target for its fifth fund

Meta’s Oversight Board has now extended its scope to include the company’s newest platform, Instagram Threads, and has begun hearing cases from Threads.

Meta’s Oversight Board takes its first Threads case

The company says it’s refocusing and prioritizing fewer initiatives that will have the biggest impact on customers and add value to the business.

SeekOut, a recruiting startup last valued at $1.2 billion, lays off 30% of its workforce

The U.K.’s self-proclaimed “world-leading” regulations for self-driving cars are now official, after the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent — the final rubber stamp any legislation must go through…

UK’s autonomous vehicle legislation becomes law, paving the way for first driverless cars by 2026

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved…

ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about the AI-powered chatbot

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender SoLo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

The ChatGPT mobile app’s net revenue first jumped 22% on the day of the GPT-4o launch and continued to grow in the following days.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw its biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch