Update, Mar 23 (11 am ET): Google issues a permanent fix with an update
What you need to know
- Android users are reporting frequent app crashes, particularly owners of Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
- The problem has been traced back to the Android System WebView.
- Uninstalling updates from the System WebView should fix the problem.
Android smartphones are apparently dealing with an annoying bug that seems to cause their apps to crash frequently. According to a Reddit post, the problem seems to affect mainly some of the best Samsung phones like the Samsung Galaxy S21. The problem seems to be related to the Android System WebView, which comes preinstalled on Android phones and is what apps use to display web content such as in-app web browsers.
According to a Google spokesperson (via 9to5Google), the company is working to address the problem:
We are aware of an issue with WebView causing some apps on Android to crash. We are currently working to fully validate the scope and a fix is in progress.
Meanwhile, anyone experiencing the problem, whether on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone or otherwise, is encouraged to uninstall Android System WebView updates. You can do this by searching for it in the Play Store (or clicking the link), and selecting "uninstall," which should fix the problem. If that option is unavailable for some reason, you can perform the same action in your device settings.
If you're on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, navigate to Settings > Apps > Android System WebView, then click the three-dot menu near the top of the page and select uninstall updates, confirm, and reboot your device. The process is more or less the same on any other Android smartphone. If you can't find the Android System Webview on your first try, make sure you're viewing "all apps," and it should appear.
It should be noted that you're just uninstalling the updates, and you should not disable Android System WebView, as that could end up causing problems for other apps. If this does not work, you may need to uninstall updates to the Chrome browser on your device since the apps are updated together, but this may only apply to devices below Android 10.
Update, Mar 23 (11 am ET) ― Google updates Android System WebView with a fix
A new update to Android System Webview has been issued to the Play Store, which should bring it to version 89.0.4389.105 and should fix the app crashing problem. You can search for it in the Play Store or follow the link to it in the main article to update it. Users are also encouraged to update the Chrome browser as well.