Meta says they are launching their own Chromium webview for the Facebook app on Android.
The webview is used to view web content in Facebook’s in-app browser on Android devices.
Until now Facebook has relied on the system webview component on Android, but they report this is often outdated and unpatched, meaning users are exposed to bugs and security and privacy vulnerabilities.
For example, people with outdated versions of the Chrome and WebView apps may be more susceptible to zero day exploits and other security holes that might have been fixed in newer versions of Chromium. In addition, they also observed that, due to the way Android loads the System WebView, when users were updating the System WebView app, they were experiencing a Facebook app crash.
To help solve these issues they have been building and testing a separate Chromium-Based WebView for a few years. This will act as an alternative for the System WebView for the in-app browser for Facebook on Android. This WebView can update in sync with Facebook app updates, and function as a drop-in replacement for the System WebView inside the Facebook app without compromising or changing the user experience in any way.
Facebook also says using an in-app webview allows for improved performance, as they can enable the GPU process for their WebView.
As the work is open source, Facebook also says they intend to continue to submit any major changes to upstream Chromium.
Facebook has been conducting early tests on this Chromium-Based WebView, and will begin rolling out this version to more Facebook app users that have compatible devices.