June 7, 2023

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What is Android System WebView?

What is Android System WebView?

Sharaf Maksoumov / Shutterstock.com

If you are using an Android device, you may have come across an app called Android System WebView. It is a system app that regularly receives updates via the Google Play Store. But what do you do, and should you remove them?

A critical component of the system

Android system webview It is an essential system component that Android apps use to display external web content instead of opening it in a regular web browser, such as Chrome. It comes pre-installed on all Android devices.

It is commonly used in apps like Twitter and Facebook to open shared hyperlinks within an app. But a variety of other Android apps also use it to display web content that is not part of the app.

WebView application is based on chrome, which is the same open source project that powers the Google Chrome web browser, but does not include all the features found in the full version of Chrome. So it is not a replacement for a regular browser.

Why do apps use it?

Android system webview on Twitter
Android system webview in use on Twitter for Android.

Google offers apps multiple ways to display external content, including WebView, Custom TabsAnd the ability to run a normal web browser. But in order to keep the users inside their apps and provide a seamless experience, the app developers use the WebView function whenever there is a need to show external content.

Thanks to WebView, whenever you click on a URL in an app, a container opens inside it and shows the full web page. Moreover, app developers can customize this container to match the overall app interface. So you get a consistent experience and don’t get carried over to the separate browser app to open external web content.

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Why is Android WebView receiving updates?

WebView update for Android

Often you will discover the Android system webview in the list of updated applications. This is because Google frequently releases updates to the WebView to ensure it has the latest improvements and bug fixes introduced in the Chromium project. These updates are necessary to keep all applications that use WebView running smoothly.

If it looks like a recent addition to your apps, it’s because WebView was being upgraded as part of core Android updates. But starting with the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop, the company Make it upgradable via Google Play Store As a separate Android WebView app. This way he can receive updates when needed instead of relying on them Limited system updates.

Most importantly, you don’t need to update your Android WebView app manually. Instead, it automatically receives all updates.

Can you remove Android system webview?

Option to disable Android system webview

You cannot uninstall the Android System WebView app from your Android device because it is a system app. You can disable it or uninstall updates, but there is no good reason to do so. This is because many applications and games use it to display external web pages and other content. If you disable it, at best, you risk disabling part of its functionality, and at worst, you will make it completely unstable.

interesting to Android 7 NougatAnd Android 8 Oreo and Android 9 Pie, Google used the full version of Chrome for WebView functionality. Although the WebView app for Android is installed on every Android device, it has not been actively used or updated. So for these versions, even if you disable Android System WebView, there won’t be any effect on the performance of any app, but you won’t get any benefit either. So it is best to leave the app alone.

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What about WebView Beta, Dev, or Canary?

WebView versions for Android
The Google

Like most apps, Android WebView beta versionsSuch as betaAnd the DaveAnd the canary, via the Google Play Store. But these releases are for app developers to test upcoming changes to WebView if their apps use WebView functionality.

It’s not for regular users, and even if you install a trial version, you won’t see any benefits. Alternatively, you may have to deal with bugs, as beta, development and canary builds have not been thoroughly tested and may be unstable.

An important part of the Android experience

Overall, the WebView app for Android is an integral part of the core Android experience. However, it is not your typical application. So it is not listed in the app launcher, and you can’t open it manually. But it’s there when the app needs it. It’s good to know so you don’t disable it or remove updates and end up causing problems.

If you are looking for apps that can be removed, consider this Delete apps in bulk and other ways Free up space on your Android device.

Related: How to free up storage space on your Android phone