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Google releases fix for Android apps crash issue with updates to Chrome & WebView

Android seems to be having a difficult time keeping its head above the water. The Pixel 4a/5 launch was soon followed by a bug-riddled experience that trickled down to the other phones in the Pixel series. Android 11 has gone for a toss on numerous user interface fronts. Given the ways things are now, a lot seems to be riding on the release of Android 12. Well, before its release, let’s add one more shortcoming, “Android apps crash” to the list, shall we?

Android users have reported numerous complaints about apps like Gmail, Google/Chrome browser, and Yahoo Mail crashing away repeatedly. Apps immediately shut down when they’re opened, giving no reasonable explanation to the users as to why.

Google releases fix to the Android Apps Crash bug

Yes, Google has acknowledged and released a fix to the Android apps crash issue. The root cause behind the fatal crash was a system component Android System WebView. Its function is to allow Android apps to showcase content on the web.

Those who are encountering the error need to update Android System WebView to the latest version 89.0.4389.105. Also, they should reinstall Google Chrome to the latest version, available on the PlayStore.

We halted the update and have posted a new version of WebView (89.0.4389.105).

Google Play will soon download the update to these apps on affected devices, or you can update manually to resolve the issue immediately. Some devices do not have WebView pre-installed and only need to update Chrome.

Update as on 25th March

Few users who are on older versions like Android 10 have complaints regarding incomplete manual WebView or Chrome updates. Google has acknowledged the issue, saying

In some rare cases in Android 10 or 11, a manual update of WebView or Chrome may fail to complete.

Google

No fix to the issue has been given by Google. However, it has asked users to stop uninstall manual updates to WebView.

Note: We do not recommend manually uninstalling updates to WebView. It may result in loss of data from some apps.

Let us dig deeper into the Android apps crash issue and what potential solutions were on offer.

Why are my Android apps crashing?

The issue began sometime on Monday when users found out that basic everyday apps like Gmail and Yahoo Mail began crashing. Most users were skeptical about it being the fault of the software. Many tried to clear the cache memory and even reset the app data with no evident success.

Others tried a full factory backup of the device hoping it would work.

For many the problems involving the immediate crashing of apps wasn’t restricted to the above three. Apps which involved schedules and daily task routines were also disrupted. Google Calendar and other 3rd party health-monitoring apps were the most common victims. Some games also refused to start up.

However, forums on Reddit have come up with a solution. We’ve outlined it below for those interested. For the rest just follow this TLDR: Go to the Google Play Store and uninstall Google Webview.

Potential workarounds to the issue of crashing Android apps?

Uninstalling Google Webview appeared to be the safest option yet. In fact, Samsung official US twitter account also tweeted the same.

Some users said that removing the latest update to WebView fixed the issue — and in fact, Samsung’s official US support Twitter account recommended taking that exact step.

However, it was not easy to implement. For instance users on an Android version lower than 10, they’ll need to uninstall updates to Chrome, not the Android System Webview. Many devices did not have the option the uninstall and some had disabled by default.

However, few workarounds handled the impediments perfectly.

Older versions and older devices where Webview might be disabled already also saw some solutions.

For people who might have this issue with an older phone (like myself with a family members phone), you may find that WebView is already disabled. Older versions of Android have WebView built into chrome.

What you must do is disable Chrome, which will then enable WebView. You will then have to install updates, then turn around and uninstall the updates again. After all that re-anable Chrome.

u/ignitusmaximus

With the fix in place by Google, all the dashboard parameters are working perfectly fine. However, if you still encounter, Android apps crash do share a screenshot with us. For more similar info, head over to our website here.

Achyuth Nambiar
Being a tech enthusiast and someone who loves to read, I try to combine the two into my latest attempt... blogging. A gaming PC though a Far Cry (pun intended) remains a distant dream.

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