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Tue Mar 23, 2021, 02:00 AM

Android apps like Gmail are crashing and 'WebView' is to blame

Source: Engadget

There are reports of the problem on DownDetector, Reddit and Twitter, and Google's Workspace Cloud Status Dashboard confirms they're aware of problems with the Gmail app on Android. According to the status message, there will be an update on the issue by 8:05 PM ET (check below for more information).

If you're having this problem, something that's worked for many people is to go into the Google Play Store on your device and uninstall the latest update to a system app called "Android System WebView." It's the app that provides Chrome-like browser rendering within apps, and according to developers and end users, many of the errors people are seeing indicate the problem resides there.

Uninstalling the updates got my phone to calm down and go back to normal, and it may work for your device. As noted below, Google has confirmed an issue with WebView and is working on a fix now.

Read more: https://www.engadget.com/android-gmail-stop-running-webview-234125352.html

17 replies, 2010 views

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 03:52 AM

1. If this was happening on Apple phones it would be the scandal of scandals.

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Response to speak easy (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 11:09 AM

13. Maybe That Has Something to do With Apple

cultivating an image of perfection over the last decade or two. When they don't live up to it they get called on it.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 04:31 AM

2. Thanks

The instructions in the link worked for me.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 04:34 AM

3. My son sent me a picture in FB messenger like he's done hundreds of times

Only suddenly, I can't select the picture and enlarge it so I try to download it. The file extension is webview. Yesterday, my Apple laptop crashed a dozen or more times. It was working perfectly before.

This report makes me wonder.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 04:45 AM

4. It worked for me.

I had a number of different versions of Webview and I kept choosing them from the Google Play Store till I found one that let me uninstall it. Of course it all crashed at halftime of the basketball game I was watching, but at least I was able to watch that on a PC. Ironically, that was also where I Googled the fix.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 06:58 AM

5. yup, had a stressful hour yesterday

everything was crashing. Then I found a reddit thread that told me to uninstall that webview thing.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 07:00 AM

6. Suddenly last night several of my apps started crashing. I attributed it to a new keyboard....

....I installed, which connects to my tablet and phone, too.

I use bluemail, installed email, and several others. I restarted my phone several times, still happened.

Also late last night tik tok kept crashing, but that seems okay this morning.

I guess this is good news, that it wasn't just happening to me and it's being worked on.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 07:34 AM

7. My phone apps

Were crashing all day.
Find Android webview in your apps
and uninstall the updates.
My phone is working fine again.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 07:48 AM

8. fix worked for me

updated webview and chrome

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 08:32 AM

9. On DU, you can just set a preference to use it

In web mode in your browser. That's what I do. You do need good vision, though. Samsung A10e.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 10:02 AM

10. Follow up:

The "full" story. Last night about 7PM my new keyboard/mouse was delivered. I set it up and connected it via Bluetooth to my computer, my phone, and a tablet.

Everything worked fine, for an hour. Then apps started closing on the phone and tablet. I restarted both a few times, the problem wasn't fixed. I couldn't use either of the email apps I have, and a couple of other apps.

So I turned off the new keyboard and got out the old one. Boxed the new stuff and was going to take it back to Best Buy. But all evening the problem STILL persisted! My thought was there was software in the keyboard that screwed up the phone and tablet software, and I might have to reset them entirely (something you DON'T want to do, you lose all your setting, phone numbers, etc.)

I checked online to see if anyone else had the same problem with the keyboard, nothing.

So I went to bed grumpy thinking I had a nasty job ahead of me.

Woke up REAL early, signed on to DU and read this. THANKS!! I went to the link and followed their advice (I don't have webview, though) - upgraded Google Chrome on everything.

Bingo! It worked. All the problems were gone.

That was a bizarre coincidence, Google having the problem right around the same time I started using the keyboard!

As Joe Biden would say, "thank you, thank you, thank you!"

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 10:20 AM

11. Went to google chrome in the apps store:

Installed the update and all seems to be well now.

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Response to LiveToLurk (Reply #11)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 10:56 AM

12. That's what I did - updated it on all my stuff, no more problems.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 03:03 PM

14. Thank you! My Samsung S10 apps have definitely been crashing.

Had to reinstall Pandora and my email keeps closing.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #14)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 03:14 PM

15. My email program, BlueMail, kept crashing. But when I updated of Google Chrome it all went away.

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Response to George II (Reply #15)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 04:18 PM

16. Thanks! That seems to have helped!

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 04:22 PM

17. This out a couple of hours ago from Google on CNET (we already know this now, though):

https://www.cnet.com/news/gmail-and-other-android-apps-crashing-on-phones-heres-googles-simple-fix/

Gmail and other Android apps crashing on phones: Here's Google's simple fix

An update to Chrome and WebView should resolve the issues.

Google says it's resolved an issue that was causing Gmail and other Android apps to crash for some people on Monday. The problem apparently stemmed from a bug in a previous version of Android System WebView, a system component that lets Android apps display web content.

To fix the issue, the tech giant said people should head to Google Play to update Android System WebView and Google Chrome.

Here are the steps Google laid out:

1. Navigate to the Play Store app
2. Search for Android System WebView
3. Select the "Update" option
4. Repeat these steps for Google Chrome

Problems with Gmail and other Android apps began to pop up on Monday afternoon and lasted roughly seven hours, according to Google's status dashboard for Gmail. Many people turned to Twitter and Reddit to report trouble with Android apps crashing, including Samsung and Pixel phone owners.

"We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support," Google said in the final update on its Gmail status dashboard. "Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better."

While Google was fixing the problem, some people found that uninstalling the buggy version of WebView provided a temporary solution. Samsung's support account on Twitter even suggested people take that step.

If you used this workaround while waiting for Google to fix the problem, you should reinstall WebView to restore full functionality to your phone, as well as updating Chrome. Keeping apps updated is important in order to get the latest security fixes.


(Note: more than four paragraphs because Google's statement and fix was put out to the general public, not "copyrighted" )

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