KEY POINTS

  • Google released Chrom 79 and WebView earlier this week
  • Chrome 79 rolls out a new security feature that integrates password Checker on Chrome
  • New reports claim users are expecting data loss on some of the apps after upgrading to the latest build

Earlier this week, Google rolled out Chrome 79, equipping the browser with the ability to reorder bookmarks and phishing protections. The new build also integrates Password Checkup on Chrome that continually scans passwords against the unsafe and compromised password. However, the recent build has some issues associated with WebView that reportedly affects third-party Android apps, eventually causing data loss among users.

Some apps are not native and basically just webpages’ wrappers. Developers that developed applications this way can receive the latest browser-features and APIs when the search engine giant updates System Webview through Google Play Store, reports 9to5google. That is the case with Android 10, bit with older Android versions, leverage Chrome.

Early Friday morning, however, Android developers dependent on WebView and local storage started reporting of having encountered an issue with their apps. The reported apps allegedly lost user's data following an upgrade to version 79 of the Webview. Those affected dubbed the incident as a major issue and catastrophic.

Android malware There are a lot of Android smartphones in the market today. Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

For several affected end-users, it appears like the apps were completely reset and just downloaded for the first time. Among the reported issues include disappearing user data and accounts being logged out. Considering the system’s opacity level, most blame developers for an issue that is technically out of their hands.

On Friday afternoon, several Google engineers answered the complaints and isolated the issue to Profile Layout Changes, where ‘local storage was missed off the list of files migrated.’ On Saturday morning, a member of the Chromium team apologized because the Chrome/WebView release stopped after 50 percent of devices received the update. At present, Google is working on a solution that will help minimize data loss and can be released safely.