Google Chrome 79 update rollout stopped due to bug that deletes Android app data

“Google confirmed that it has paused Chrome 79 update rollout on Android at 50 percent, and is currently working on a fix”

Google Chrome 79 update rollout has apparently been paused. The update, which hit Android and desktop platforms a few days ago, has riled up both developers and users because of a bug that wipes out data in apps that rely on Android’s built-in WebView. There are several negative comments on Google Play store against the latest Chrome 79 update. Google has also confirmed that it has paused Chrome 79 rollout at 50 percent, and is working on a fix. 

“We are currently discussing the correct strategy for resolving this issue which will be one of: continue the migration, moving the missed files into their new locations or revert the change by moving migrated files to their old locations,” Google said in a statement.

“We will let you know which of these two options have been chosen soon. In the meantime, it would be good to collect a list of affected packages, and details of whether any mitigations have been released to users, and in what versions so that we can test that the respin doesn’t interact badly with the mitigation,” it further added.

The Chrome 79 update bug seems to have affected those apps that use Android’s built-in WebView. WebView is the component that renders web pages on behalf of the application, which lacks its own rendering engine. On the most recent version of Android, this has been the case. With the Chrome 79, the location where the web data was stored was updated and the data from localStorage and WebSQL — two types of storage commonly used by web apps and packaged apps — wasn’t migrated properly, according to a comment on Chromium bug web page. This resulted in web apps and WebView applications local data being deleted. The data is believed to be intact, but there is no way to access it.