If you pay attention what Apple and Google are doing with their OSs, a very similar strategy pattern emerges. Unbundling the app functionalities and shifting users from apps to the OS home screen and Notification center.
Sure, this will not go easy and fast. Apps will not suddenly disappear. People are very much used to apps and using them for single-purpose tasks. Still there will be beautiful apps for us to explore when we want a detailed rich experience.
However with every new OS push people will start forgetting about them. Why? Because all the major functionalites will move to the home screen and notification center. Complete with actionable use right from the OS/notification center.
Just few examples of this trend is the new 3D touch, actionable notification center and Google Now on Tap.
For now we need the apps to provide the content and the data. But thinking even more in the future, what if apps start living in the “cloud” and the OS just pulls data and content from them?
I see a future where people will not think what app to download to complete a specific task. Instead they will simply state their intention in somekind of a search box (or Siri/Google Now/Cortana) and immediately get what they are looking for.
In the background the OS will search and contact all the “cloud apps” that may have what you are looking for and give you the best result.
So, in a broader sense the “war” isn’t between Apple and Google, it’s between Facebook and the OS’s. For Facebook the app is the platform and they don’t want you to ever leave their “internet”.
Even today, most of our time we already spend in the notification center. I imagine a new, rich, intelligent AI driven notification center becoming the “hub” for everything.