Here's how Google will prevent your apps from crashing like they did last month
An application crashing repeatedly is not a common occurrence on most Android devices in 2021, while multiple apps crashing at the same time across a wide range of devices was completely unheard of – until last month, when many apps went on the fritz due to a bug with Google’s Android System Webview, a component that helps apps display content from the web.
While the company pushed out an update to fix the issue within a day of it being reported, it later published a full report about why the crashes occurred across apps like Gmail, Samsung Email or even the Google App, in the first place. Google has now informed users via the Workspace Status Dashboard about the steps it is taking to ensure such an incident will never happen again, as spotted by Android Police.
The biggest change coming to Android System Webview is a new Safe Mode, which should essentially “revert” to the best previously known working state if such a crash, or any other untoward issue, affects Android devices again. In order to prevent users from being affected by an issue for a long period (almost a day, in this case) the company is also speeding up updates for both Chrome and the Webview component via the Play Store.
Having apps crash on users, especially critical apps like Gmail and the built-in Samsung mail can be devastating to any business that relies on Android phones, as well as other users who would not be able to access important applications that were affected by the bug, leaving them without a fully functioning device during the middle of a work week.
The introduction of the Safe Mode should mean that users won’t have to try and find a fix by themselves like they did when the crashes occurred last month, including uninstalling updates to Webview and disabling updates. You can read more about Google’s changes to the Webview components on the company’s Workspace status dashboard.