You might have seen Android System WebView (ASW) in your Android device’s app list or, occasionally, as a Google Play Store update. This critical system app isn’t something you put in or use directly, but it remains an integral part of the Android OS.
Depending on the version of Android you’ve got installed, you’ll see Android System WebView in various formats. Regardless of your device, you’ll need ASW (or a version of it) enabled and up-to-date. This guide will explore why also explain the way to keep this technique component up-to-date.
What Is Android System WebView & How Is It Used?
Your Android device may have an internet browser installed, but that isn’t necessarily the go-to tool for opening sites or web-based apps. Android instead turns to Android System WebView to point out the web page in your apps to open these pages or apps.
It does this generally for speed and security reasons. Instead of counting on a third-party app, other apps can turn Android WebView to load the content, directly integrating calls to the present system tool for efficiency.
Google has evolved the connection Android has with ASW over time. Before Android 5 Lollipop, WebView could only be updated through major Android device updates issued by the manufacturer.
With the discharge of Android 5, this changed, giving users the power to update it directly from the Google Play Store. This allowed for quick bug fixes and have released.
Further changes were made with Android 7, where a custom WebView supported Google Chrome was made the default for Android devices. This changed again in Android 10, with WebView made a separate component, sharing code between it and Chrome.
How To Check What Android System WebView Version Is Installed
Each WebView release brings new changes, but you ought to be ready to see which version you’ve got installed from your Android device settings.
To do this, you’ll get to access the settings menu for your Android device. This may vary, counting on your version of Android, also because of the device you own. These steps are written by employing a Samsung Galaxy S20 smartphone, but the steps should be similar for Android devices.
- From your device’s app launcher, open the Settings app. From there, tap the Apps option.
- You should see an inventory of installed apps, also as pre-installed system apps. Use the search bar to seek out Android System Webview, then tap the entry once you find it.
- Scroll down the App Info screen. At rock bottom, the Android System Webview version number is going to be listed. For instance, Version 83.0.4103.106. These release IDs match those for Google Chrome on Android, reflecting their shared codebase.
You’ll need to research your Android WebView version number to determine whether it’s the newest available version. If it isn’t, you’ll get to update it.
Updating Android System WebView
Keeping ASW up-to-date is a simple process for newer Android devices. Suppose you’ve got a way older Android device (Android 4.4 KitKat and older). In that case, you won’t be ready to update WebView, because it remains a way more integrated system component that can’t be updated without a serious device update.
For all future releases, however, you’ll update ASW using the Google Play Store.
- To do this, open the Play Store app and look for Android System WebView. If the app has an available update, click the Update button.
Once WebView has updated, Android will use this remake of WebView for the other apps that need it to access and consider the web page.
Installing Different Android System WebView Release Tracks
A single release of ASW leaves everybody during a single lane, a minimum of as far as essential updates are concerned. Thankfully, Google is offering more choice for Android users with devices running Android 10 and newer.
This release of Android includes a version of WebView that shares much of an equivalent code because of the Google Chrome app. This has shared benefits for both apps, including a smaller footprint and a more consistent experience.
Rather than offer this as one option, Google offers four different release tracks for WebView that you can install.
- WebView Stable: updated every few weeks after a full test schedule to ensure stability across the most comprehensive Number of devices. This is often the discharge included on all Android devices.
- WebView Beta: A beta release, sharing most of the code and features with WebView stable. This release may include additional bugs thanks to the reduced testing.
- WebView Dev: this is often a development release, subject to significant changes. This release is updated weekly, with users likely to encounter bugs and issues, but you’ll even be ready to attempt to test new features or fixes before other users.
- WebView Canary: absolutely the cutting-edge, latest release with zero testings. This is often a daily release with the newest code from the previous day. Use with caution!
Once you’ve installed one among these WebView releases, you’ll switch to that in your Android developer options menu. This is often usually hidden, so access your Android settings. From there, tap About Phone> Software Information, then double-tap the Build number information several times.
This will activate developer mode on your Phone. Once enabled, return to your Android settings and tap WebView implementation. An inventory of available WebView releases will be available here—tap the choice you would like to use to modify to use it.
For devices running Android 7 to 9, you’ll instead install Google Chrome release tracks (Stable, Beta, Dev, and Canary) that achieve an equivalent effect. This is often because WebView is integrated within the Google Chrome app for these releases.
How To Disable Or Delete Android System WebView
If you would like to disable or delete Android System Webview, the straightforward answer is: you can’t (or you shouldn’t). This is often a vital system component, required to open the web page in Android apps.
The best thing you’ll do is leave WebView enabled and keep it up-to-date using the Google Play Store. If you’re having trouble with the web page loading on your Android device, check out switching to a more modern version of WebView using the steps above.
A bug during a stable release could be fixed during a newer beta release of WebView. Of course, these fixes should filter through to the WebView stable release after a brief period of your time, so it’s going to be best to attend in most circumstances.
Keeping Android Updated
Android devices aren’t best known for their ability to stay updated. Still, by keeping ASW a separate system component, Google can quickly obtrude urgent bug fixes using the Google Play Store. This is often installed on most Android devices, including emulated Android devices on your PC.
This is another part of developers’ standard smartphone security measures like Google and Android to stay devices protected against the worst threats. If you’re anxious about security, you’ll believe in installing an Android antivirus app, but this might not be necessary for many users.