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In previous versions of Android, in-app browsing was facilitated using WebView (1). Disabling in-app browsing system-wide could be achieved by uninstalling the WebView app (2).

Recently, an in-app version of Chrome, called Custom Tabs, took over the WebView app (3, 4). This meant the previous trick no longer worked.

How to disable in-app browsing has already been discussed previously (5). However, the answers included uninstalling Chrome and, thereby, uninstalling Custom Tabs.

Is there a way to keep Chrome as the default browser, while also disabling in-app browsing? Clicking on links in certain apps would, then, result in the full Chrome app opening and rendering the webpage.

  • @beeshyams Thanks, it's related but not the same. At least, your answer there is suggesting exactly what I am trying to avoid (editted Q to make this more clear). Also, Daniel Mahler states "Chromer is a nice way to manage links opened from other apps (Web Heads) but AFAIK has no control over if other apps use it. If somebody knows a one shot method to change the browser settin for all app I am all ears". I too, am all ears. – LBogaardt Sep 7 '18 at 8:55
  • The WebView component is just a special app. You can have multiple WebViews installed and select the one you want in the Developer Options. Unfortunately the System WebView have to be signed as system app, therefore installing some sort of a "dummy WebView" requires root. – Robert Sep 7 '18 at 17:55
  • @Robert Are you suggesting that, if one has root access, a dummy WebView app can be installed which, for example, simply launches the Chrome Browser and opens the clicked URL there? Also, could you explain what the Developer Options is? Is there anything I can exploit there? – LBogaardt Sep 8 '18 at 12:56
  • The "Developer Options" is the developer settings menu you can unlock by touching the built number 4 times. I was talking about a dummy WebView app that just does nothing. Opening an URL designed for a WebView in Chrome does not make sense, as Chrome does not have access to the app-internal resources. – Robert Sep 8 '18 at 15:31
  • @Robert Would a potential dummy WebView not be able to redirect the URL to Chrome? Have you got any suggestion how to get all apps to open in-app links with the Chrome Mobile browser? – LBogaardt Sep 8 '18 at 17:49

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