What is Android WebView and what is it for?

In this guide we see what Android WebView is and what it is for, an app that is more important than it seems for the operation of your Android mobile.

Your Android mobile or tablet is made up of several applications that you do not use directly, but that allow the device to function properly.

One of them is Android WebView, an app that you may have discovered after updating itself automatically on your terminal. But what is this application for? Is it really that important or can you uninstall it? In this guide, we dive right into the Android ecosystem for tell you about one of its key services, Android WebView.

So, we will see what function does it have in your terminal, how can you update it, how would it affect a supposed uninstall to security of the phone and, finally, how to activate it if it is disabled by default. We started!

What is Android WebView and what does it do?

Android System WebView App on a mobile

Android WebView is a very important app for your mobile.

Android WebView, or Android System WebView, is a system component powered by the Chrome browser that allows Android applications to display web content. For example, when you open a link in Telegram, it will be seen directly in the app and will not take you to the Google Chrome browser, which makes it easier and faster to view the content.

This component arrives pre-installed on your Android device, and we already anticipate that keeping it up to date is key to security of the same.

It is also from great utility for developers, as we read on the WebView Android website, it is an element that allows you to have more control over the user interface of your apps and have "Advanced configuration options to integrate web pages in an environment specially designed for your application".

What makes it different from a normal web browser?

As Google itself explains, the elements of Android System WebView _ "lack some of the features of fully developed browsers ”.

Among these missing features are navigation controls, which allow you to return or advance in the pages you have visited, and the address bar, which shows the current URL and allows you to directly access another link. Nor can we find the configure button, present in browsers like Chrome.

In short, Android WebView lacks the usual elements in web browsers, but this also makes it easier for us to access web functions within applications quickly.

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How do I update it?

We have already discussed that keeping Android WebView updated on your Android device is critical for security, but how can you do it? The most normal thing is that this application updates automatically on a regular basis. If that is not the case, Follow these steps to update Android WebView:

  1. Enter the Play Store.
  2. Click on the three horizontal lines button in the upper left corner.
  3. Accede to "My applications and games".
  4. If there is an update available for Android WebView, it will appear in the "To update" section. Click on the "Update" button which will appear to the right of the app and the installation of the new version of the application will begin.

In order not to have to always be aware of whether there are updates or not available for this app, we recommend activate your automatic update on the Google Play Store. This is the procedure to do it:

  1. Open the Google Play Store and enter the Android WebView page.
  2. Click on the three dot button in the upper right corner.
  3. Check the box "Update automatically".

Can it be uninstalled or disabled? It is safe?

Yes, it is possible to both uninstall and disable Android System WebView from your Android mobile or tablet. To carry out the first of these actions, the uninstallation, you can access the Android WebView page in the Google Play Store and click on the "Uninstall" button.

Instead, to disable Android WebView you will have to go to Settings> Applications> Android WebView and select “Disable”. By doing so, what you get is to deactivate the application and hide it on your phone. However, it will be the system itself that asks you if you are sure of this decision, as it can cause Android and other apps to not work as they should.

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We see that it is possible to both uninstall and disable Android WebView on your Android terminal and thus make the app links open directly in the default browser. But be careful, because this not the best option you can choose if you are interested in maintaining security from your Android mobile or tablet.

Google advises that Android WebView is key to ensuring that you receive the latest security updates and other bug fixes for your operating system, so removing it could lead to major malfunctions of the device. Before uninstalling or disabling Android WebView, think twice, as it could prevent you from continuing to use your terminal as usual.

How do I activate it if my mobile has it disabled by default?

In some Android mobiles it happens that Android WebView is disabled by default, so you have to activate it manually if you want to use this system component. To activate Android WebView on your device, follow these steps:

  1. Go into Settings> Applications.
  2. Click on Google Chrome.
  3. Disables Google Chrome.
  4. Go back to the applications section and click on Android System WebView to confirm that it has been activated automatically. If not, select the "Activate" button and it will be enabled in your terminal.

As you can see, activating Android WebView in those terminals that do not have it enabled by default means deactivating Google Chrome. Therefore, you will have to use other web browsers to browse the Internet. Before we say goodbye, we remind you of the importance of keeping Android WebView updated so that your phone continues to function correctly and safely.

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