Tech News: Google address last month’s WebView nightmare on Android.
Android’s WebView component caused a widespread crash last month that caused dozens of apps to stop working, including Gmail, Google Pay, and several banking apps. The severity of the error, which took up to eight hours for a permanent fix to be released, prompted Google to make further changes with the aim of preventing another disaster.
In a new status report, Google explains the causes of the crash and details the WebView improvements it plans to make. All apps that relied on WebView to open web pages crashed due to a bug in software testing and configuration technology, the company noted. To fix this, Google had to release new versions of Chrome and WebView via Google Play for automatic and manual updates.
The key to the improvements to WebView is a new “safe mode” where the app can be restored to a good state if history repeats itself. Google also plans to speed up updates to Chrome and WebView in the Play Store. Additionally, Google promises to monitor the app and communicate better with users during incidents. In a nod to companies and developers who were likely inundated with complaints about a crash they didn’t cause, Google says it will work with its partners to comment on the impact of the incidents and the resolution status.