The development of apps has been challenging the World Wide Web for a few years now. Futurists think the web is still evolving, but the corporate world is taking hold of the app model.
Due to trends in technology adoption, some have predicted that the Web will be obsolete. The growth of mobile device usage and their ever-proliferating apps, is undeniable, and development projects for mobile vastly outnumber those for full-size computers. So predictions have been made that smartphones and tablets, along with their customized Internet access, will become more prevalent than the Web we know today. In response, Pew surveyed experts and Internet stakeholders in “The Future of Apps and Web” on where they see the evolution of apps vs. the Web progressing by 2020.
Enterprises will continue to support apps as a valuable source of income
Most agree that the Web will last because it is by nature an open platform. The public will continue to be drawn to this, and companies can depend on the need for a Web presence, though they have a strong mobile app. But these apps provide a valuable source of monetization, and this will contribute greatly to their staying power, combined with their convenience and curated experience on behalf of the consumer. Jesse Drew, associate professor at UC Davis, explains: “The corporate push is to close off the Web and rely upon apps, as they are easier to control and turn into commodities for sale.”
Cloud technologies may have a high impact on the future of the Web
While companies will place value on apps as potential income sources, it does not necessarily place them at opposition with the Web. On the contrary, Mark Watson, senior engineer for Netflix, argues that with new technologies such as the cloud, differences between the web and apps will disappear: “The experience when you visit a webpage and when using an app will converge, possibly to the point where there is little practical difference.” Going even further, senior technology analyst at SRI International Jeffrey Alexander says “The rise of cloud computing infrastructure means that apps will have comparable processing power and capability as traditional web apps, and in many case will be superior to our conception of today’s Web.”