I have seen some Android phones where this application comes installed on the device. What is the use of this application?

(Click image to enlarge)

IMG: Tem

Does installing this app have any advantage on any other Android devices which does not have this application installed?

  • 9
    It's been available since Kitkat and the apps which takes advantage of it can open the webpages in themselves (their activities) unlike those which always asks you to open them separately in a browser. E.g. Facebook on Android 4.4 and above loads the external links into itself rather than asking you to open them in a browser. See developer.android.com/reference/android/webkit/WebView.html and developer.chrome.com/multidevice/webview/overview
    – Firelord
    Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 11:06
  • 7
    The above should be the answer and not a comment. Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 1:58
  • @Firelord So if I open Fb application and when I click a news article from the application with the help of the Android web view it will open the News article on top of the application and under the task manager it will show only Fb and not the browser through which the news is loaded.
    – user285oo6
    Commented Aug 22, 2015 at 10:13
  • Why cannot we embed default webView in separate fragment or activity and pass url to load in our app itself ? I have done similar in this GitHub POC - github.com/hiteshsahu/Android-Universal-Web-Content-Loader . Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 8:22

1 Answer 1


Some applications require what is known as WebView, a mini browser for functions like approving logins from Facebook and Google+. This is essentially a miniature version of Chrome.

It used to be that WebView only updated with the OS. In Lollipop, Google detached it from the Core OS in a way, and added the functionality for it to be updated via Google Play, like other apps, automatically. This allows it to keep up with Chrome and provide a better browsing experience.

The next time you log into an app and you are brought to a Web Page in the app saying "Allow 'The App' to assess your Google Account" or what not, see if you get get to the Google homepage via the "About Google" link. Then search for and open http://WhatBrowser.Org You will see how it is a mini chrome-based browser inside the app, provided by the system, and updated by Google Play.

Having this installed will keep it updated. You will not have to wait to upgrade the Android OS.

  • 1
    Probably one of the best reason why WebView update is now independent of Android OS is because of WebView vulnerability on Android 4.3 and before. With the update being independent, the vulnerability can be fixed without the need to wait for OS update (though it's only for Android 5.0 and later).
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 10:49
  • I don't use Chrome Browser,Google+ and Facebook. I have disabled these apps. Should I disable Android System Webview app too?
    – Error 404
    Commented Feb 13, 2016 at 9:09
  • means do I need Android System Webview app?
    – Error 404
    Commented Feb 13, 2016 at 11:57
  • 1
    "I don't use Chrome Browser,Google+ and Facebook. I have disabled these apps. Should I disable Android System Webview app too?" --- Some applications, other than those you mentioned, use WebView. I suggest you leave it on. There used to be a vulnerability in the previous version of WebView but this has been fixed from 4.4 onwards (at this point WebView changed and is based on Chromium). From 5.5 onwards, WebView became an independent component from the OS and thus appears as an application.
    – user73930
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 17:14
  • 1
    @user285oo6 From Android N, there is no more need for the System Webview. Chrome is used directly by embedding apps instead.
    – Greg
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 9:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .