I have an Android 5.1 device, where I have full root access. For this device I have written a cordova application and installed it as a system app. It is working good, however the webview-version of Android 5.1 is very old and unfortunately has a few bugs.

I know that you can update the webview with the playstore, but unfortunately the device does not have the google apps and therefore I am not able to update the webview with the playstore.

So my question is: How can I update the system webview without google playstore?

I already tried it with a rather naive approach, which unfortunately killed my application:

I have downloaded the latest webview.apk from the playstore (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.webview&hl=de)

Then I did:

adb remount
adb push webview.apk /system/webview/
adb reboot

Now I get errors when I try to start my cordova application and the app itself doesn't show up anymore:

I/CordovaActivity( 1931): Apache Cordova native platform version 6.1.1 is starting
D/CordovaActivity( 1931): CordovaActivity.onCreate()
E/WebViewFactory( 1931): Failed to list WebView package libraries for loadNativeLibrary
E/WebViewFactory( 1931): android.content.pm.PackageManager$NameNotFoundException: com.android.webview
E/WebViewFactory( 1931):        at android.app.ApplicationPackageManager.getApplicationInfo(ApplicationPackageManager.java:281)
E/WebViewFactory( 1931):        at android.webkit.WebViewFactory.getWebViewNativeLibraryPaths(WebViewFactory.java:282)
E/WebViewFactory( 1931):        at android.webkit.WebViewFactory.loadNativeLibrary(WebViewFactory.java:397)
E/WebViewFactory( 1931):        at android.webkit.WebViewFactory.getProvider(WebViewFactory.java:103)
E/WebViewFactory( 1931):        at android.webkit.WebView.getFactory(WebView.java:2194)
E/WebViewFactory( 1931):        at android.webkit.WebView.ensureProviderCreated(WebView.java:2189)
E/WebViewFactory( 1931):        at android.webkit.WebView.setOverScrollMode(WebView.java:2248)
E/WebViewFactory( 1931):        at android.view.View.<init>(View.java:3595)
E/WebViewFactory( 1931):        at android.view.View.<init>(View.java:3689)

How is the correct way to update the webview.apk without google playstore?

  • Download latest webview.apk from www.apkmirror.com – Једноруки Крстивоје Jan 10 '17 at 10:52
  • I already have the apk... the problem is how to install it – Michael B Jan 10 '17 at 11:36
  • Don't forget to reboot after replacing a system .apk, so the Dalvik cache gets rebuilt (remember that "updating apps…" hint on first boot?). – Izzy Jan 10 '17 at 12:33
  • Yes I made a reboot - it also says so in the question. "adb reboot" – Michael B Jan 10 '17 at 15:05

The Google WebView application is very different from regular ones. You cannot use Package Installer to install or update it in a common way. You must do it yourself (As for my Lollipop 5.1.1).
Here's the way I've done it several times. Run in a root shell. You may need busybox for unzip (or do it with a file manager).

rm -r /data/app/com.google.android.webview*
mkdir /data/app/com.google.android.webview-1
cd /data/app/com.google.android.webview-1
cp /path/to/your/webview.apk ./base.apk
unzip base.apk 'lib/armeabi-v7a'
mv lib/armeabi-v7a lib/arm
# Do the following 2 lines only if you're on an ARM64 ROM
unzip base.apk 'lib/arm64-v8a'
mv lib/arm64-v8a lib/arm
find . -type f -exec chmod 644 {} +
find . -type d -exec chmod 755 {} +
find . -exec chown 1000.1000 {} +

Alternatively, you can try creating directory /system/priv-app/WebView and put the new APK there. Remember to get rid of the old one.

| improve this answer | |

You try to update "com.google.android.webview", but your system uses "com.android.webview" version.

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