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WebView Android Update Brings Safe Browsing Features

Jun 26, 2017

If you have an Android device, you probably have heard about WebView before. WebView is basically a mini browser that gives you the opportunity to view various websites from within an app. This means that you do not have to open Google Chrome in order to see a website. A new update just hit WebView, and the new update provides some security features and changes you will be excited to hear about. Read on to learn more about the WebView update and how this will help better your web browsing experience on Android.

WebView for Android Gets Safe Browsing Mode in Update

The biggest change to come for WebView for Android in this new update is that there is now a Safe Browsing feature built into WebView. This means that you will get the same safety and security you have come to know and love from other browsers like Google Chrome, but it will be right there within WebView.

If an app is requesting that you view a particular website, the new Safe Browsing feature in WebView will alert you if the website is in the phishing database or the malware database. For an Android user, this is great news because a warning box will indicate that the website is not safe and you should not proceed.

We have been talking for a long time now about all of the risks and possible phishing scams and malware that Android is at risk of. Android is open-source so that is why the most popular operating system is more vulnerable to these types of hacks and attacks. The changes to WebView will allow Android users to feel more safe and secure while inside of an app.

The changes also should help decrease the amount of phishing attacks and scams that happen on Android, specifically when it comes to clicking links that you might find in an app. Clicking a link from within an app is very risky, and hackers are using what is known as clickjacking to get you to click on a link and download something that is malware or ransomware.

WebView Safe Browsing Feature is Easy to Use

If you are an Android user, you will love hearing that the renderer on WebView was already fixed by Google to help prevent malicious apps from getting into the app host. This means that it will be hard for apps to try to gain any privileges or anything like that. If you are an app developer, you will also enjoy the fact that Safe Browsing is very easy to write into your app.

If you want to enable Safe Browsing from within your app, you just need to add a line of what is called manifest code. Once that manifest code has been added to your app, you will now give the users of your app the ability to use Safe Browsing from within the app itself.

The only real downside of the WebView update, which now provides Safe Browsing features, is that it only works on the newer versions of Android. If you are running anything under Android Marshmallow 6.0, you will find that Safe Browsing is not an option for WebView and you will not get the update. It is suggested that for people running under Marshmallow that you upgrade to either Marshmallow or Android Nougat 7.0.

Updating your operating system to the newest Android release will ensure that you have access to Safe Browsing in WebView. Not to mention, upgrading to the newest operating system is overall a more safer and secure option since vulnerabilities are fixed in the newer releases, and many updates do not happen on the older Android versions.