With KitKat, WebView is now powered by Chromium

Google recently released Android 4.4 KitKat, the newest iteration of its mobile OS, and with the new OS the Android WebView API is now handled by Chrome.

Google says in a blog post, “The Chromium WebView is a complete overhaul of the Android WebView API. It means that the same rendering engine and software stack that powers Chrome is available for use by app developers targeting Android 4.4 KitKat, helping power games, social networks, news and blog readers, in-app ads, and of course complete web browsers.”

With it comes much-needed support for the latest HTML5 and CSS features. The Chromium-based WebView also means improved JavaScript performance as Google’s V8 engine is part of Chromium.

The post adds: “Chromium WebView is present on all devices running Android 4.4 and applications using WebView will transition to it automatically, no user intervention required.”

The Chromium WebView team aims to make the transition simple for developers too, while also working towards increased open web standards convergence. Though most applications will continue to function unaltered, the team has come up with an Android 4.4 WebView migration guide for developers to go through the important changes.

“With DevTools remote debugging support for WebView, developing and analyzing web content inside native Android applications is as easy as debugging a web page on desktop Chrome, offering a productivity boost to developers,” the company adds.

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