I remember back in 90s many of my friends including myself used to have a folder in our PC named softwares or something similar. The purpose of the folder was to hold zillion types of desktop softwares; mostly freewares or sharewares. Situation is much different today. With the huge rise of the Web, everything is running off the cloud now; from word processing to utilities for daily life like alarm clock and alerts.
Over last few years mobile devices has gone too far in our daily life. Whatever used to be done on PC, now being done on the device. Its like re-inventing the old wheel once again and spinning it off on a smaller, sporty car. Devices are now full of apps of different size : small, medium, large. Our devices are becoming a warehouse of applications just like our old PC used to have.
Its not hard to follow the thought that this app culture may not sustain long time like it didn’t for PCs. Apps today may all will shift to browser based web applications in foreseeable future. To provide better user experience, these web applications will have mobile friendly user interface. The indifferent participant in this shift will be the end users. For them the shift may look transparent as there won’t be much to loose.
The big dilemma for organizations would be to decide whether to invest on an app or to a Web application or site that resemble like an on-device app. I personally would opt for the later. People would go to the website directly. The web server, upon recognizing the user agent, would present the app-like version of the site, of course, with an option to allow users to switch to the regular site whenever they would like.