Some Android apps were mysteriously crashing for users across the world. The problem began on Monday afternoon and lasted for hours before Google was alerted of the issue. The apps crashing were because of a bug in the Android System WebView component that is found on all Android devices.
Google was quick to acknowledge and work on the issue. “We are aware of an issue with WebView causing some apps on Android to crash for some users,” Google said in an earlier statement to The Verge. “We are currently working to fully validate the scope and a fix is in progress,” the company added.
The problem affected many Android apps. In our testing, apps like Amazon and even Google’s own Gmail app started crashing as soon as they were opened, without any crash reports displayed. Uninstalling and reinstalling the apps seemed to not solve the issue.
Soon after, some users on forums suggested that the latest Android System WebView update was causing the crashes and that uninstalling updates to the same by heading into your phone’s settings could solve the issue. Check out the tweet by Samsung Support US below that suggested this temporary fix.
Hi! Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Please remove the Webview Update and then restart the phone. Here are the steps: Go settings > apps > tap the three dots in the top right corner > show system apps > search for Android System WebView > select Uninstall updates. ^Nina
— Samsung Support US (@SamsungSupport) March 22, 2021
Google has since fixed the issue
“We have resolved the issue with WebView that caused some apps on Android to crash for some users. Updating Android System WebView and Google Chrome via Google Play should now resolve the issue,” Google said in a statement.
The crashing apps problem can now simply be solved by updating the Android System Webview app from the Play Store to version 89.0.4389.105. After this is done, users must also update Google Chrome to the latest version. These two steps should stop the app crashes with immediate effect