Chrome 79 started to roll out on mobile and desktop platforms some days ago. However, there was a bug that has made its way into the app, and which wipes data in some of the apps that use Android’s built-in WebView. It’s a mess, and it got both users and developers on their toes.
How did the bug affect Google Chrome 79?
You’re probably asking yourself, how is this possible? How can a Chrome bug actually erase data from other apps? On the most recent versions of Android, Chrome acts as the WebView of the system, which is the component that renders web pages from inside the app. When you log in with a web page inside an app, Chrome is the one that loads the content. Some Android apps are made to tun entirely inside the WebView – those apps built with Apache Cordova (PhoneGap), for example.
One of the biggest changes in Chrome 79 is that the location where web data is stored was updated. But the data from localStorage and WebSQL, which are two types of storage that are commonly used by apps, were not stored properly.
When the devices got updated to Chrome 79, WebView and web apps had all of their local data deleted. The data is still intact, though, since Chrome did not delete the old data after the migration, so there is no way you can get access to it now.
Google fixed the bug in Chrome 79 on Android
The apps that are affected by this bug are getting one-star reviews from users, and those app developers are raging against the Chromium developers. Google has confirmed a couple of days ago that they have put the Chrome 79 rollout on Android on pause at 50%.
Recently, Google fixed the bug in Chrome 79. The rollout of the update restarted, so users can download the new version of the browser.
David Blair was a reporter for Henri Le Chat Noir, before becoming the lead editor. David has over 20 bylines and has reported on countless stories concerning all things related to science, games and technology. David studied at Birmingham University.