HTML5 took a giant leap last year, and its popularity will continue to grow throughout 2013. While many experts see HTML5 as the future replacement of apps, it may be too soon for anyone to put all their eggs in the HTML5 basket.
With HTML5 comes the ability for responsive design, meaning a website can adjust based on the respective device being used at that moment. This is crucial for many companies, especially online publications and retailers.
“Eventually there will be no need to build a separate app for your product with responsive design,” said Tommy Welti, senior web designer at Tier10. “Right now we are still in the very early stages of responsive design, and I don’t think it will become a standard for several years at least.”
Even though the World Wide Web Consortium has set a goal to make HTML5 the standard by the end of 2014, it doesn’t mean apps will become obsolete right away. One main roadblock would be app stores themselves. Since the smart phone manufacturers run the app stores (i.e. Apple iTunes Store and the Droid Marketplace), it’s unfeasible to think these companies would want to immediately do away with that revenue stream.
Sure, companies can decide to go the full HTML5 route and completely cut out apps as soon as possible, but that could open up a can of worms that would ultimately make things more difficult on consumers. The best and most obvious course of action for the immediate future would be a hybrid model that incorporates both. In fact, many apps now are set up like this.
Once the kinks get worked out of HTML5 and an effective way of placing ads – not to mention how to price said ads – on responsive design is figured out, we can start to look at a future without apps. However, that isn’t to say apps will go away altogether. There will still be room for them when it comes to games, especially those that are a one-time download and require no Internet access.
Besides, do we really want to do away with all of the useful apps available at our fingertips forever? You know, like the one that adds cats to your pictures, or the one that makes 17 different horn sounds, or the one that provides an instant rim shot for when you make clever jokes or puns. What would the world be without them?
Maybe just a little more productive.
[Sources: Business Insider, World Wide Web Consortium, Forbes]