In the past month, many users of devices with any version of Android have experienced multiple crashes in a large number of applications. A month later, Google finally released an official report on the reasons for what happened and why this key Android system process brought the operating system to its knees.
The Google Workspace team said that application crashes were triggered by “a bug in the experimenting technology and customization of Chrome and WebView”. It is the one to blame for the fact that applications that use WebView to render web content were unstable.
“The fix required the distribution of updated binaries for Chrome and WebView; these new releases were made available for distribution via Google Play for automatic and manual updates,” the statement said. A new update for WebView was available a day after the crash reported. Chrome also got an update right after that.
Despite the fact that the problem was quickly resolved; Google wants to play it safe so that this does not happen again. Therefore, the company will “validate WebView and related applications for production readiness” while improving “experimental testability and deployment process”. If it fails during testing, the WebView will revert to “safe mode” or a known good state.
As Google has assured, recent updates to Chrome and Android System WebView fix the app crashing issue. If some utilities on your device continue to crash or work unstable, you need to install service updates.
We will improve our change management and rollout policies to the WebView system component and its dependencies. We plan to:
- Audit WebView and its related dependencies for production readiness.
- Implement a WebView ‘Safe Mode’ which will handle this class of configuration error and revert back to a known-good state.
- Improve our experiment testability and roll-out process.
- Accelerate the update mechanisms for Chrome and WebView via the Play store.
- Better communicate throughout incidents with our users, and provide commentary with our partners onimpact and resolution status.
Android 12 coming soon
Google I / O event will take place from May 18th to 20th. On Google I / O we are waiting for the announcement of the first public Android 12, news about the company’s products such as Google Assistant, Google Photos, Maps, Drive, etc. Perhaps during the event, the Google Pixel 5a smartphone and the new Pixel Buds wireless headphones will be presented.