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I've a phone and tablet running Android 7.0. In both cases I do not use Chrome as my default browser.

I believe that the use of Chrome Webview was to reduce resource use by sharing code.

Does it make sense, when one is not using Chrome, to disable Chrome and use Android System webview as default?

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From Nougat onwards Chrome is web view. It replaces web view and web view is not available on Play Store as an independent app to install / update separately. In other words, web view is integrated with Chrome

....WebView component will actually become a part of Chrome to bring in more data and memory efficiency.

....Starting in Android 7.0 Nougat, WebView will actually be Chrome....The standalone WebView APK will no longer be updated via the Play Store as long as the Chrome rendering remains enabled on your device.

You can choose your WebView provider by enabling Developer Options and selecting WebView implementation. You can use any compatible Chrome version (Dev, Beta or Stable) that is installed on your device or the standalone Webview APK to act as the WebView implementation.

But webview is not updated anymore nor available , so using Chrome is the way forward.

You can also try Chromer a lightweight open sourced Chrome which is less resource hungry

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  • Android System Webview is installed but disabled. It seems it can be enabled and updated from the Play Store.
    – To Do
    Jul 17, 2017 at 12:59
  • I don't think so. Please see the link on second line of answer quoting Google help , where it says that it cannot. I am basing answer from sources as I don't have Nougat
    – beeshyams
    Jul 17, 2017 at 13:11
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    Reading it again, if you disabled Chrome, you can update webview - as the standalone WebView APK will no longer be updated as long as Chrome remains enabled
    – beeshyams
    Jul 17, 2017 at 16:00
  • Elsewhere , it says that if you had upgraded from Marshmallow to Nougat, webview will continue to be visible but can't be updated
    – beeshyams
    Jul 17, 2017 at 16:13
  • More clarification here
    – beeshyams
    Jan 26, 2018 at 16:57
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Just to clarify, Android System WebView is still updated, even in 2019. (For those using it)

Android System WebView, last updated Mar 1, 2019

Yes, Chrome is trying to be like WebView with multiple similarities, but it is different. There is no plans to get rid of until Chrome can catch up, but it has a long ways to go.

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    Appreciate the refutation, but please don't do personal attack as it's against Code of Conduct. Meanwhile, if possible, please also expand this answer by editing it to explain the differences between Chrome's and Android's WebView so that future readers can evaluate them unbiasedly.
    – Andrew T.
    Mar 15, 2019 at 3:10

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