Android users around the world earlier today reported an unusual error with apps on their smartphones. According to users on Twitter and other social media platforms, apps including Gmail, Chrome, Amazon, Yahoo Mail, DuckDuckGo browser, and more were crashing despite rebooting the system or reinstalling the apps. Google had confirmed that the error was caused due to Android System WebView that lets Android apps display web content. The company, in a statement to News18, said that it has resolved the issue and updating the Android System WebView app and Google Chrome from the Google Play app store should do the trick. The same update has been posted on Google’s Workspace Cloud Status Dashboard, where the company has apologised for the inconvenience. Google advises users to keep the apps updated, to ensure the smooth functioning of the smartphone.
According to downtime tracker DownDetector, several users around the world started facing errors with Gmail around 4 PM IST on March 22. More reports started coming in at around 4 AM IST earlier today and peaked around 10:23 AM IST. Around 76 percent of Android Gmail users had claimed (via DownDetector) that they are facing errors with log-in. The rest of the users are unable to receive messages or attach files. Similarly, Amazon started facing errors at around 2 AM last night and peaked at 10:27 AM today morning. Yahoo Mail started facing problems at around 9:30 AM.
Several companies and OEMs also addressed the issue on their social media platform, with a possible workaround. Samsung US had stated that Samsung phone users can uninstall WebView to fix the problem temporarily. In case users are still facing errors, despite receiving a solution from Google, they can check out Samsung’s workaround. Galaxy phone users would need to go to Settings > apps > tap the three dots in the top right corner > show system apps > search for Android System WebView > select Uninstall updates.
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
Google has still not clarified as to what caused the error with Android System WebView, which in turn impacted apps on the smartphone.