Every time I open up a browser... to use apps and services like gmail, google docs, etc. and then i go to the desktop to open up apps - Sketch, etc. , I think: What's the difference? The browser just feels like a desktop within a desktop!
I’m not saying they won’t ever converge, but there’s many reason why they may not, and the chasm between web and native is still very wide.
One of the big differences:
Native apps are run closer to the metal, closer to the OS and closer to your data. They can still be sandboxed and codesigned, but they have far more power and abilities, often full access to the entire filesystem. And for that, they can do more things, and do them faster, but users should be more cautious about installing native apps.
Web pages and web app run in a heavily sandboxed environment, with less abilities and less performance, typically confined to a browser window. It’s far safer to visit a website you don’t trust vs installing an app you don’t trust.
An important question is: What would be gained by merging the two? What do you want to do now that can’t be done?
Isn't it what Chromebook is trying to do? (maybe it's just for google apps but that's a start, isn't it?)