Google Trying to Make Web Apps Viable Alternatives to Native Apps

Google is certainly pushing HTML5 forward, doing its best to make "web apps" look and feel as much as possible like native smartphone apps. Accordingly the HTML5 version of Gmail has received another upgrade:

Go to from your iPhone and you’ll notice two improvements we’ve rolled out over the past few weeks. First, scrolling is snappier: the speed of scrolling reflects the speed of your swipe gesture. This is helpful for long conversations where a few quick flicks will get you to the information you need much faster than before. Second, the toolbars stay on screen while you’re scrolling rather than moving down into view after each scroll. Being able to access your toolbars from any point on the page should make it easier to triage your email and move around the app.

I'm a Gmail user but will continue to rely most heavily on the Android mail client because it's a great deal richer and has more features. Over time, however, the gap between the functionality and usability of native apps and "web apps" may shrink to the point where satisfaction levels really do compare and people are less inclined to use apps except for the most frequent tasks and activities.

Mobile developers would probably cheer that day. But that day is not today. 

See also: Do Mobile Users Really Prefer the Browser?