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March 23, 2021

☕ Good morning! It’s OnePlus launch day and arguably one of the most anticipated OnePlus launches in some years. Note, if you're getting this newsletter out of sync, we've had some reports of it not sending out and some reports of it being received. So, it's a re-send, and slightly behind the normal news. Hope you didn't miss out...

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Google broke Android
android 12 developer preview 1 android s version
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Seemingly out of nowhere, Android users on a variety of devices have reported experiencing random app crashes, covering the full spectrum of apps like Gmail, to browsers like DuckDuckGo’s Privacy Browser, games including BrawlStars, and plenty more. 

Google is aware of the problem and is working on a fix, a Google spokesperson told publications, “We are aware of an issue with WebView causing some apps on Android to crash. We are currently working to fully validate the scope and a fix is in progress.”

…which it rightfully should be, since it seems that Google is the one at fault:

  • What’s happened is that Google apparently pushed out a bad update to WebView, resulting in Android app crashes.
  • WebView is an Android component used by many apps to display HTML and web content.
  • Google first noted the issue just after 7pm ET, and around seven hours later shared an update stating it had a resolution: 
  • “We have resolved the issue with WebView that caused some apps on Android to crash for some users. Updating Android System WebView and Google Chrome via Google Play should now resolve the issue.”
  • A similar comment was published on Google’s Workspace Status dashboard which was monitoring the outage for its Gmail app, specifically.

The fix: 

  1. Navigate to Play Store app
  2. Search for Android System WebView (or here)
  3. Select the “Update” option
  4. Repeat these steps for Google Chrome (link here)

Ongoing:

  • Non-technical users had no hope of resolving this bug, with loads of frustration vented on social media, including Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook.
  • Some users factory reset their phones or figured their phones had suffered a hardware fault.
  • Even now, if you’re stuck with problems, the steps above are tough for those who don’t have the know-how.
  • It’s expected Google will push an update at some point, but for now, manual updates may be required if you’re experiencing crashes.
Roundup

🔎 OnePlus 9 Pro launch spoiled a day early courtesy of T-Mobile and Amazon in Germany, though no pricing details (Android Authority).

3️⃣ Poco F3 and X3 Pro launched: Affordable flagships starting under $300 (Android Authority).

🎮 New Nintendo Switch could get upgraded Nvidia chip, with Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) tech to upscale to 4K with AI (Android Authority).

🤳 It’s official: Xiaomi will launch the Mi 11 Pro, Mi 11 Ultra on March 29 (Android Authority).

📂 Report: Samsung is working on a double-folding foldable — no details on which folding design approach Samsung will go with, though (Android Authority).

📈 Galaxy S21 sales tripled the sales of S20: price cuts, better cameras, pandemic demand (Android Authority).

😬 Uh oh: new report that LG might indeed shut its smartphone business as options to sell went nowhere (Android Authority).

🍏 Angry MacBook owners get judge approval for a class-action suit against the cursed MacBook butterfly keyboard (The Verge).

🥽 Pokémon Go developer Niantic making Pikmin AR game for Nintendo (Polygon).

🎧 Microsoft in talks to buy Discord for more than $10 billion, likely to activate it for Xbox Game Pass. But, hopefully not exclusively? (Bloomberg).

🔊 Spotify’s new home screen features bring order to the chaos — coming to iOS and Android (Gizmodo).

🤔 In 2020, 64.8% of Google Searches ended without a click, rising to 77.2% for searches on mobile devices. That means Google’s search engine result page is delivering more answers than ever. Which, is great for Google, and bad for webpages starving for clicks (SparkToro).

Chart Tuesday

Percentage of all fossil fuel emissions that have occurred in our lifetimes (r/dataisbeautiful):

emissions totals
  • Ouch. More than 50% here.

All the best,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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