If you’ve realised that certain apps are misbehaving on your Android smartphone, don’t panic just yet. Due to a system error, Android users across the globe have seen some apps crash unexpectedly (more than they should). Luckily, Google’s already rolled out a fix for that.
We first experienced this issue this morning on our Samsung S20 Ultra, when Truecaller just stopped blocking those intrusive calls from robotic sales staff. The Truecaller app wouldn’t boot, and crashed when we tried to open it on every instance. It soon became clear that many phones are displaying similar behaviour, even outside of South Africa.
Android’s under a spell
Apparently, all of the fuss was because of a system component called Android System WebView that lets apps display web content. A new update kinda broke the whole thing, which affected certain apps, including fairly important ones (depending on your profession), like Gmail.
Soon after, Samsung picked up on the error, and tweeted out a manual fix, which meant users could go into its system apps and apply the fix manually. So Samsung’s initial fix was to roll back the WebView system app to a previous version manually.
Hi! Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Please remove the Webview Update and then restart the phone. Here are the steps: Go settings > apps > tap the three dots in the top right corner > show system apps > search for Android System WebView > select Uninstall updates. ^Nina
— Samsung Support US (@SamsungSupport) March 22, 2021
According to a statement given to The Verge, Google was “… aware of an issue with WebView causing some apps on Android to crash for some users.” And was working on solving the issue as they said that. But now it looks like there’s a more official fix. Google rolled out another update for both Android System WebView (to version 89.0.4389.105) and Google Chrome to the latest version. Both are currently available on the Google Play Store.
The issue should be sorted out by now, but if you’re still experiencing issues, try to force an update on the Chrome and WebView apps through the Google Play Store.