I visited yeasterday Mobile Dev Camp. Mobile Dev Camp is a one day event devoted to developing mobile applications on the latest mobile platforms such as iPhone, Android, Maemo. It is held in Helsinki Finland. The end result waht I got from the presentations I followed that web techniologies are coming more and more into use in mobile application development in the next few years.
Web applications are cheaper to make than native applications and can nowadays do many many things (and in the future more). Especially web applications are cheaper when you need the same application to work obn many devices (porting web application to different device is much much cheaper than porting native device, and many web applications work on many platform already without any extra porting work ).
HTML5 web applications are the way to go. Web technologies are nowadays integral part of modern communications devices and the web runtime is fully fledged application platform. Location based web applications are already possible with Android and iPhone. URL is an easy distribution model.
Mobile web application will be big in 5 years. Great growth of mobile web is not cannibalizing the traditional web but can affect the business models of today’s app shop centric mobile application world.
Apple crated downloadable mobile applications markets with marketing (lots of money spent). Now almost everybody seem to be following that model and device manufacturers are betting on at the moment very heavily. But is that limiting application shop model locked to single manufacturer the best for mobile application business? I think this model will face problems when open cross platform web applications will take on. Other possible future is that web applications will be in the future sold on those same shops in the same way as native applications nowadays, just some applications are web applications and some native applications, without end user knowing how the application is made. Let’s see what happens in few years.