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Android’s in-app browser gets a security upgrade

The company has added Safe Browsing to warn you against phishing and malware.
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Chris Velazco

One often-used component of Android is WebView, a micro-browser that lets you view web pages from inside apps, rather than having to use Chrome. However, pointing a slender window towards the internet is an easy way for a nefarious type to get past your device's security. It's an issue that the folks at Google are taking seriously enough to spend real time and effort making WebView more secure.

The company has announced a pair of updates for the platform, crucially incorporating Safe Browsing within WebView itself. It means that, should an app request to view a site that's already on Google's malware and phishing databases, you'll be shown a warning. In addition, Google has sandboxed WebView's renderer, making it harder for malicious apps to gain access to the host app.

Developers will be able to enable Safe Browsing by adding a single line of manifest code to their apps. Users, meanwhile, can sit back and relax, knowing that -- soon -- another annoying security hole just got closed. Unless, you know, you're still rocking an older version of Android.

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