Google responds to last month’s WebView nightmare on Android

Android’s WebView component caused a generalized crash last month dozens of apps stopped working, including Gmail, Google Pay, and several banking apps. The severity of the error – which lasted for up to eight hours before a permanent fix was released – prompted Google to make additional changes in a bid to avert another calamity.

In a new status report, Google explains the causes of the crash and details the WebView improvements it plans to implement. All apps that relied on WebView to open web pages crashed due to a bug in the software’s setup experience and technology, the company noted. In order to fix the problem, Google had to release new versions of Chrome and WebView through Google Play for automatic and manual updates.

Key to its WebView improvements is a new “Safe Mode” which would see the application revert to a good state if history repeats itself. Google also plans to speed up updates to Chrome and WebView on the Play Store. In addition, he undertakes to audit the application and to communicate better with users during incidents. In a nod to companies and developers who have likely been inundated with complaints about a crash they did not cause, Google says it will work with its partners to provide feedback on the impact of the incidents and the status of the resolution.

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