Smartphone and tablet users have become so used to having apps to handle various aspects of their daily lives that they may feel as if they would be lost without them. Indeed, mobile apps were one of the early reasons why the smartphone craze took off in the way that it did. In the ten years since those early models, the internet has also advanced rapidly. Now, some of the reasons that apps were invented in the first place no longer exist. It has reached the stage that mobile apps as we know them may soon become obsolete.

When Apple’s iPhone was released in 2007, it only shipped 1.3 million units in its first year. But, after the introduction of the App Store in 2008, those sales spiked to 11.63 million. After this, and as more apps began to flood the market, sales of the device skyrocketed. Few would deny that one of the main draws of smart devices in their early years was the fact that they featured useful and enjoyable apps.

Smartphone users were able to click on BBC News if they wanted to know what was going on in the world, Candy Crush if they fancied a game, or Workout Trainer when they were ready to get fit. This was such a convenient way of organising things, and much simpler than constantly opening up different web pages through a browser.

HTML5

In recent years, though, a new mark-up language for web pages has meant that apps are no longer required to gear websites to the mobile screen. HTML5 was introduced in 2014 and, since then, it is gradually being incorporated by more businesses and websites. With this, websites no longer need to be specifically designed for mobile or desktop. HTML5 allows users to access websites smoothly no matter what device they are using.

Using HTML5 allows for seamless updates, especially within games. For apps, players would have to download updates before being able to play. Now, when accessing games from the browser, there is no need to update most titles. According to CasinoWings, players get bored easily with games that require frequent downloads. This is a problem that HTML5 has eradicated but it could lead to traditional apps slowly dying out.

Native apps are still handy as a way of quickly accessing the required page but they are no longer needed as an alternative to websites. These could quickly become replaced with web apps which effectively do the same job and can be attached to a device’s home screen. The fact that 2017 saw an 82 percent fall in App Store submissions highlights the mass adoption of newer, more efficient ways of building apps.

Despite being one of the driving forces behind the unprecedented boom of smartphones, native apps may have run their race. HTML5 has opened up more streamlined possibilities, and this appears to be the favoured way of doing things moving forward. It looks like mobile apps as we know them could be on the way out.