The Chrome 79 web browser rollout for Android is paused by Google after being hit by a data-munching bug. Experts say that the new browser will not be restored until a solution to neutralize the data-destroying bug is in place.

Users affected by the bug are disappointed and vilifying Google and app developers for not being able to prevent the issue.

The latest version of Chrome includes 2 most awaited features, that is, phishing protection and the ability to reorder bookmarks.

The Chrome 79 rollout was initiated on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, and subsequently, the app developers and users began encountering issues such as missing data in some android apps by Friday, December 13, 2019.

Consequently, as a precaution, Google has temporarily suspended the rollout on Saturday (December 14, 2019). Google also mentioned that the rollout had reached 50% Android users. However, a fix for the issue will be available in the next 5–7 days. Until then, the rollout will be stalled.

More about the issue

The data-munching bug attacks certain apps that use Android’s built-in WebView and wipes data.

The data-munching web is observed to wipe data from certain android apps with built-in WebView (a component that provides web pages inside of apps). As Chrome comes into the picture to load content when users log into a webpage inside an app or in case the default Android browser lacks its internal rendering engine.


Thomas Hatch, CTO of SaltStack, said, “It is rare for Google Chrome to let a bug like this leak through.”

He told LinuxInsider, “Google has certainly had bugs in releases, but Chrome and the Chromium platform are tested extensively to prevent these issues.”

What must have gone wrong

About the Chrome 79 WebView code, the development team thinks the issue occurred in the beta version about 6 weeks ago. A Google software engineer in a forum mentioned that if the issue had been addressed at that point itself, Google would have been able to address this chaos before it significantly impacted the user.