Beginning with Android 7.0 and ending with Android 10, Google allowed the Chrome APK to provide the system WebView (Chromium, which is part of Chrome, and WebView are built from the same codebase). However, they are not the same. At lease one user was able to resolve frequent crashing by switching from Chrome to WebView. If Chrome is installed, WebView will automatically be disabled. If Chrome is uninstalled or disabled, WebView will be re-enabled and can receive updates from Google Play. If you have developer options enabled, you can see which source your WebView implementation comes from.
Beginning with Privacy Browser 3.1, About > Version now displays the WebView provider on devices running Android Oreo (8.0, API 26) or higher—Android Lollipop (5.0, API 21) or higher beginning with Privacy Browser 3.5.
From time to time I am contacted by someone who is having problems with Privacy Browser because they don’t have a functioning WebView on their system. Usually these are people with root access to their devices who have manually remove a bunch of Google software because they don’t like Google spying on them (a worthy endeavor). Typically they don’t realize the WebView is fully open source and a part of Android in a way that Google Play Service, Gmail, Google Photos, and other closed source Google apps are not.
To restore WebView you can use Yalp or Aurora to download the Android System WebView APK. Bromium also provides a fork of Android’s WebView called SystemWebView that might be worth trying. SystemWebView is open source, but I have not spent the time to inspect their code myself and users are advised to do their own research before deciding whether to trust them.
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[…] Browser Android uses Android’s WebView to render web pages. WebView provides fairly limited controls compared to the upstream Chromium […]