The metaphor could apply to websites too…
One of apps’ most valuable propositions is the real estate they occupy: front & center on a users’ homescreen. That’s an everpresent reminder to “open me” and engage, as opposed to a website that requires a user to remember and initiate engagement.
Now, there are two major issues for apps today, both of which responsive web design skirts:
1. Homescreen clutter (which detracts from the “real estate” value proposition above)
2. Platform fragmentation & risk (which developer & business headaches impair apps’ other value proposition, design control)
As responsive web design continues to improve — now hastened by Google’s interests pitted against Apple’s — the web can thrive.
First, addressing #2 above, the responsive web is evolving to give developers more design control, with more boundless capabilities, without the platform fragmentation or risk.
Second, addressing #1, the responsive web can occupy that valuable homescreen real estate: from any website in both iOS and Android, you can hit the
“Action” button > “Add to homescreen” to turn websites’ “second-story window into their front doors.” That completes the metaphor.
I think it’s too soon to declare the death of the web/web browser.