WebView, the component of Android that renders web pages inside apps (like login screens), is updated through the Play Store. This means that security issues are less of a concern, but it also means bugs can crop up outside of system upgrades. Case in point: an annoying bug is causing web pages inside apps to freeze and crash.
Most reports follow the same pattern: a person tries to view a web page inside an app (as opposed to in a Chrome Custom Tab or a full web browser), the page freezes, and eventually the application displaying the page becomes unresponsive. The bug doesn’t seem to be limited to a certain Android version or device. On most recent Android devices, Chrome actually replaces the system WebView, hence why the message says ‘Chrome isn’t responding’.
Anybody else getting total freezes of @googlechrome on Android 10?
I’m seeing them when using Reddit Is Fun and loading articles in its WebView. Freezes the app and Chrome itself. pic.twitter.com/vA2r4UitK6
— Artem Russakovskii (@ArtemR) September 6, 2019
Yep, I have the same problem on Android 9 when using Sync Pro. I switched away from webview to load all links in Chrome outside of the app. Not as convenient, but at least the page doesn’t freeze anymore.
— Matt Sholtz (@mattsholtz) September 6, 2019
It just froze for me right here. Clicked on a Google feed article, scrolling down it just froze.
Android 10 / Pixel 3 XL. pic.twitter.com/Su02TWVAs0
— ᴊᴜʟɪᴏ ➐ (@DaX05) September 6, 2019
Yes, I’m seeing the same ANR. Consistently able to trigger it by going to a certain AOSP source code page.
— anthony (@RestainoAnthony) September 6, 2019
I wasn’t able to personally duplicate the bug on any of the phones I use regularly. However, there have been a few bug reports filed recently that are related to WebView crashes. Two separate developers said crash reports for WebView elements in their apps had dramatically risen starting in August, but it’s not clear if the reports are directly related to the issue reported by people on social media.
In the meantime, you might be able to avoid this bug by setting your apps to open pages in the full web browser. While there are still a few reports of the freezing issue occurring in regular Chrome, the bug doesn’t seem to be as common there.