WebView to blame for Android apps crash: Gmail, Yahoo and Amazon all affected

Here's how you can resolve the issue if you're experiencing problems

Android users are reporting problems with a number of Google, Yahoo and banking apps. Unsplash 
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Android users have reported difficulty with a number of essential apps, which are crashing or freezing when in use.

Apps including banking apps, Gmail, Google Pay, Amazon and Yahoo were all affected, with many users left unable to access messages or online banking services.

In a bid to resolve the problem, a Google representative confirmed that display app WebView was to blame. "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."

How to stop Android apps from crashing 

On Twitter, a number of users have reported experiencing the problem and offer an IT solution as old as technology itself: switch it off and back on again – or a version thereof.

Android users suggest going to the Google Play Store on their devices and uninstalling the latest update to the Android System WebView app.

"All of a sudden, loads of Android apps started crashing for me this evening including Amazon Shopping, Gmail. Turns out the culprit is an Android System WebView update. Search for it in the Play Store and hit uninstall and it fixes the problem," wrote Twitter user Craig Rouse.

What is the Android System WebView app?

The Android System WebView is a system app that provides a Chrome-like browser within other apps – in a nutshell, it is a way to display web content.

WhatsApp outage  

The Android app crash comes days after WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram went down globally.

Last Friday, more than one million people reported problems with the photo-sharing app Instagram. The issue was resolved within a day.

The issue had also affected Facebook Inc's online messaging services WhatsApp and Messenger, with #whatsappoutage trending on Twitter in many countries, including India.

About 20,000 users posted about issues with WhatsApp, according to outage tracking website Downdetector.com.

Downdetector.com tracks outages by collating status reports from a series of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform.

Additional reporting from Reuters