How do you solve the problem of discoverability though? Now, I’m not saying Google Play or the App Store are fantastic in terms of discoverability (Play is particularly horrible), but at least every mainstream user knows where to go if they’re looking for an app for a particular purpose. Web apps are very much on the fringe and anyone who opts to create a web app over a native app is taking a risk. To paraphrase someone else in this thread; how many web apps do most people have on their phones?
Web apps would be fine if your app was ancillary to your main line of business and you were getting existing customers to use it. But if your business revolves around your app, but you’re not in any app stores and the way you install it is “weird”; users ain’t gonna flock to it.
Some big players need to move their “killer apps” to web for any of this to gain traction. And not just “offer a web app version of their native app”; actually push their existing users onto web apps. So think things like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook (Zuck hates web apps FWIW). After that, web apps become a bit more normal and discoverability will solve itself as demand is created.
But what would be the incentive for a “big player” to move from a closed, proprietary environment they have total control over, to the open web? Beyond altruistic intentions, I can’t think of one.