What is Android System WebView and Is it Necessary to Use?

Android is the best-selling mobile operating system that has been appreciated and beloved by billions of users across the globe. Even though Android 15 is about to be released officially in a few months, multiple reports claim that the Android 11 OS remains popular due to its userbase of around 24%. There is plenty of scope for customizations, tweaks, subsystem adjustments, and other unlimited features for Android OS-running devices that we can’t deny. Though plenty of users may have heard of third-party and stock applications, Android System WebView is not something everyone knows. So, what is Android System WebView, and is it necessary to use it?

Talking about Android’s customization features, iOS devices can’t compete at all. Whereas the support of third-party applications and modules is one of the best parts of Android. That’s why smartphone lovers or customization geeks prefer Android devices. Though I’m not a part of the Android app development process, I have heard that Android OS is suitable for app development. Almost every third-party Android application can be found on the Google Play Store, and some can be found on third-party APK websites to be downloaded and then sideloaded.

But at times, you may have noticed that there is an app installed on your Android device called ‘Android System WebView’. Well, it’s a preinstalled application on Android devices that comes out of the box from manufacturers. If you haven’t noticed it yet, make sure to go to the installed apps list inside settings to take a look at it. Now, you may ask what this application is and what’s its purpose? Relax! You don’t have to worry about it. This is a safe and official system application for Android OS, so don’t consider it suspicious.

What is Android System WebView?

Unlike other stock pre-installed applications from Google like Gmail, YouTube, or Drive, the Android System WebView app stays hidden in the system applications, and you really can’t open it manually. So, how does this application work, and why is it quite important?

Android System WebView is a core Android component for Android OS devices that allows all applications or programs to display content from the web. Now, here is a catch! Generally, we have to open an external web browser application on Android mobiles to view any web content or open a webpage & link. But with the help of Android System WebView, the opened link or web content displays directly on the same internal web interface. That means you don’t always need to open a web browser to see web content.

For instance; you open your Gmail application and find a link for a job. Now, you tap on that link to open it & the link webpage will open inside the Gmail app rather than redirecting to the web browser. And then going back to the previous will automatically close the web interface to back to the Gmail app again.

You can head over to device Settings > Apps > See All Apps > Android System WebView. Tap on it to open the App Info page, and then disable it, force stop it, or clear the data (if you want). But we don’t recommend disabling it permanently, as this is a useful feature.

Well, clearing the Android phone’s cache data isn’t always a good idea if some of your apps can’t load certain menus or webpage interfaces directly. You should clear the cache data of the Android System WebView app and then try checking the issue.

Some older Android OS versions do offer WebView updates periodically via the Google Play Store application. So, keep checking the available updates in a month or so to avoid potential crashes or force-closes of the web content displayed from the Android apps.

What is Android System WebView and Is it Necessary to Use

Is it necessary to use Android System WebView?

Android apps do have a straight option for opening webpage content inside their interface using the Android System WebView plugin. However, some of the applications prompt the user to open the webpage content or link via an external web browser like Chrome instead of the integrated WebView service. We should also mention that in the last few years, Android app developers have been working on new functionalities for accessing web content via the Custom Tabs feature on their interface, which works pretty similarly.

However, that specific feature uses the default web browsing rendering engine to display web content. Multiple reports claim that this functionality offers better stability and faster loading speeds as compared to the standard WebView plugin. The latest generation of Android versions runs the WebView system better to improve significant performances and reduce battery drain.

Most importantly, Google keeps updating the WebView system plugin with the latest Android OS updates in the form of general improvements. Talking about social media applications like X, Facebook, and Instagram, load external links using the Android System WebView plugin. So, if you disable the WebView system all of a sudden or don’t want to use it, you may find some issues with the external link or web content displaying inside the apps as a daily user.

Subodh Gupta
Subodh Gupta
Subodh is from Kolkatta. He has been covering Windows, Apple and Android news and guides on RMG network

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