It’s not that apps are dead, per se; It’s more that the ecosystem is shifting towards great content rather than revolutionary functionality. The initial app landgrab was about trying to understand smartphones and what tools they can provide to help us in our daily lives. Nowadays, smartphones are far more ubiquitous, and they feel like they’ve saturated their functional potential. Thus, they’re becoming more oriented towards content-consumption. Our phones are analogous to computers with all the drivers installed — now we’re trying to figure out what to do with `em.
This also explains the rise of the invisible app/hidden ui. Just check out Facebook’s new Notify app.
Check out my (slightly) longer writeup on this subject =>