I found out about the importance of the Android System Webview app when I used a data saving/ app blocking app on my android phone. The app blocker prevented most apps from using my data while I was on the internet.
I preselected the apps I thought I would need: my browser, a few social sites, YouTube, Gmail; and I was confident I had all that was needed.
I knew there was something amiss when I tried to open an article on twitter and the link could not open. This happened several times. If you’re like me, and you have taken the ability of apps to open links easily for granted, this article is for you.
The Android System Webview is what makes this oft “taken for granted” feature possible. It makes it possible for different apps to open links as if you were on a browser.
In the article, we will discuss what exactly the Android System Webview is, why it is important if you need to install or update it, any other practical applications it may have, and if there are any downsides to using the app.
What is The Android System Webview
If you have ever gone through the list of apps on your phone, you’ll find out there are several apps there that you did not know about.
If you even tried to launch them, you may not be able to. For most users of android phones, the Android System Webview is one of these unknown apps that will probably never be launched as a stand-alone app.
Though you don’t launch it as you do with most other apps like your browser, Facebook, game apps, and so forth, you probably make use of it every day. It is a vital component in your daily internet usage.
Android System Webview is a system app. Apps on phones are either system apps or application apps. The apps most people are most familiar with are the application apps.
These apps are usually downloaded and installed because of the special features they offer. The phone does not need them to function.
On the other hand, system apps are pre-installed in the phone. They are necessary for the smooth running of the phone. They ensure that the hardware and the software are working in perfect harmony with each other.
In a sense, they act as a bridge between the phone hardware and software. You usually don’t need to launch these system apps because they work in the background.
Some examples of these system apps are Google partner setup, Engineer mode, config updater, and captive portal login.
The Android System Webview also works in the background without any direct interaction from the user. It makes it possible for you to view webpages within applications.
This saves time and effort in copying links from different applications and opening them in a browser. The Android System Webview is a web browser engine that is built into the android operating system.
Why you need Android System Webview? 🤔
Many people spend a good portion of their online time on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. On sites like this, the endless feeds is a big attraction.
Another attraction is the ability to tailor your content according to your interests. You can like or follow pages and individuals that interest you. You can get your news on Facebook or Twitter.
If your interest is sports or celebrity gossip, you can keep up with the latest in any of these. Even if your interests are more academic or esoteric, there is plenty of content for you.
For many of your interests, you’ll be given links in your feed that would lead you to other websites. So, if you are so interested in the news, your feed will contain headlines, and when you click on them, you’ll be taken to CNN’s website, for instance, to read the full story. You can read articles on medium or answers on quota without leaving Facebook or Twitter.
Imagine the stress and time it would take if you had to open a browser each time you saw an interesting link. Imagine you had to copy the page URL and paste it on your browser for every article, or story you wanted to read on full. This would be too stressful and time-consuming.
Also, imagine the same stress applied to your emails. You had to open each link in the browser. It would be very ineffective and time-consuming.
So, when you click on a link in an app, it opens Android System Webview as if it was part of the app, and you can be directed to the site you wanted. Not every app supports Android System Webview, hence in some apps, you need chrome to open the links.
Apart from being ineffective and time-consuming, it would also consume a greater share of your phone’s resources. Less RAM space is used up. Your battery life is conserved.
This is the big reason why you need the Android System Webview. Apart from making it easier to open links in different apps, it conserves the phone’s hardware resources.
If that was the only reason why Android System Webview was important, it would be totally worth it. There is more though, app developers rely a lot on webviews while they develop their apps.
Webview is an important part of google studio, a tool for developing android apps. People with sufficient programming skills can use it as a tool in developing browsers, as well as other apps with similar formats.
Programmers who want their apps to be able to open and interact with web content within the app environment will find that webview is an invaluable tool in the development process.
They’ll have to enable the webview library, they’ll also need to create an instance of the webview class. Furthermore, the necessary permissions and code for webview are added to the deceleration file, so web content can be viewed within the app.
Hence, it is obvious that Android System Webview is important not only to the users of android phones but to the developers of apps.
Should Webview be Uninstalled
A possible complaint someone may have about Android System Webview is that it uses up a lot of the phone’s resources. Because of Webviews a large chunk of the phone’s ram is used.
Also, there may be vulnerabilities that may be difficult to correct because google no longer releases updates to older versions of android, hence it may be good to turn off many apps not being used.
Another reason why you may want to uninstall it is that you feel the task it performs is already done by other components to the android operating system, or by Chrome. This is particularly true of users of Android 7.0 and above.
In versions of android before android 5.0, Android System Webview was a vital component of the entire operating environment.
It was embedded in the whole operating system package. You could only update Webviews as part of an operating system update. In versions after android 5.0, Android System Webview became a separate, individual app. Updates could then be done via google play store.
It is advisable to leave Android System Webview enabled for better performance, particularly because some apps would not function properly without it. This is particularly true of versions of the operating system older than Android 6.0. For Android 7.9 and above it isn’t required to be enabled.
If the app is preinstalled in your phone (if it is a system app) it is almost impossible to uninstall the app. You would have to root the device, which comes with problems of its own.
A good step would be to disable the app.
(Q) Is it safe to disable Android system WebView?
It’s android system component, we will not recommend to disable it.
(Q) Is Android system WebView virus?
No, it’s not a virus, it’s android system component.
(Q) What happens if I uninstall Android system WebView?
Other System apps depend on this system app will stop working.
(Q) Is it necessary to update Android WebView?
Yes, it’s important to update the webview to get the new features and security improvement.
Android System Webview is an important app. In most Android phones it is preinstalled. Many people take the app for granted because it does most of the work in the background, so people do not see its effect directly.
Android phone users also are able to click on links within an app, without having to close the app and open a browser. This makes using many apps more enjoyable.
Android System Webview is a very important part of android phones. Now we know why it is important.