The component of Android responsible for rendering web pages inside apps (login screens, simple browsers, etc.) is the WebView. It became a separately-updated component with Android 5 Lollipop, and then Chrome started to handle WebView entirely in Android 7 Nougat. Starting with Android 10, Chrome no longer serves as the system WebView... sort of. Read More
WebView, the component of Android that renders web pages inside apps (like login screens), is updated through the Play Store. This means that security issues are less of a concern, but it also means bugs can crop up outside of system upgrades. Case in point: an annoying bug is causing web pages inside apps to freeze and crash. Read More
About a month ago we reported Google was working on a dark theme for Chrome, in preparation for a wider night mode throughout Android Q. Although this was a very anticipated feature, we expected it would only darken the menus and navigation bar but still render web pages in their original colors. This was before our colleagues over at 9to5Google discovered the browser is actually able to alter a site's design and display it in a darker skin. Read More
Google has maintained a list of malicious websites, such as those hosting malware or phishing scams, for nearly a decade. The company's Safe Browsing API allows web browsers to access the blocklist, and show a warning if the site is dangerous. Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, and countless other browsers use the Safe Browsing API. Read More
As unfortunate as it might be, it's a given that using the internet extensively may compromise your privacy. Tracking codes that can follow you across sites have become incredibly common, often used to create targeted advertisements for users. At this point, Google probably knows more about me than I do.
Of course, it's possible to block some trackers, like with the Privacy Badger extension and similar tools. Back in 2015, Mozilla released 'Firefox Focus,' a content filter for Safari on iOS that blocked trackers.
Mozilla later turned Focus into its own lightweight browser for iOS, using the Safari engine (as other engines are not allowed on the Apple App Store). Read More
Android has long provided a way for developers to show web content in apps without implementing a full browser with WebView, but the nature of this component has changed a lot over the years. It became Chromium-powered, was unbundled from the system, and then got a beta channel. Starting in Android 7.0 Nougat, WebView will actually be Chrome. Read More
One of the less glamorous improvements to Android 5.0 Lollipop is the move to updating WebView via the Play Store rather than only with system updates. WebView is the component that lets apps render web pages internally rather than kicking you over to a browser. A recent update to WebView was crashes left and right, but now Google thinks it has that all sorted out.
Google's WebView app debuted in the Play Store a few weeks ago, but that was just a beta. Now the listing has opened up to the general public. It's still Lollipop only, but now those running Android 5.0 and higher will get the latest patches and tweaks to the system WebView automatically.