The mobile analytics firm Flurry released new data today indicating users are spending more time with their mobile apps than they are surfing the mobile web. That is part of a continuing trend that started at least 18 months ago, when consumers were spending about 50 percent more time on the mobile web than on their apps. That trend will likely be reversed eventually as HTML5 makes web-based apps easier to use, as my colleague Ryan Kim astutely points out here. But as I’ve discussed before, web vs. native isn’t a black-and-white issue, and our usage of the web will increasingly be “wrapped” in native apps that make it easier for us to access what we’re looking for. So I don’t really see this trend turning around anytime soon.
The debate over whether the future of mobile data lies in native applications vs. Web-based offerings is often depicted as a Darwinian contest where only one will survive. But the truth is much more complex than some pundits would have you believe.