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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to ditch Google’s WebView and switch Android’s system browser to Bromite «Android :: Gadget Hacks

How to ditch Google’s WebView and switch Android’s system browser to Bromite «Android :: Gadget Hacks



Apps don’t need to come with a full browser to display web pages – instead, they can invoke the system’s WebView browser to display content for them. Android’s default WebView renderer is Google software, which isn’t as privacy-forward as some of the other options.

Bromite, for example, comes with standard browser fingerprint security. You can also enable ad blocking, send “Do not track” requests, and even open new tabs by default in Incognito mode. It’s based on the open-source Chromium code base, so the actual browsing experience is almost identical to Chrome. It’s just a lot more private in general.

Requirements

Step 1
: Install Webview Switcher

To start, open your Magisk Manager app and tap the puzzle piece icon on the menu bar at the bottom of the screen. Here, tap the search button and type “webview”, then tap the download arrow next to the top result: Webview Switcher. The installation of the module takes approximately 3 minutes, so please be patient while downloading and installing Bromite and Bromite WebView. Make sure to tap “Restart” when it’s done.

Step 2: Adjust Bromite’s privacy settings

When you backup, your system’s WebView renderer has already switched to Bromite. In your app drawer, you will see two new icons: one for the main Bromite browser and one for Bromite WebView. The latter can’t be opened (it’s just a stub for managing the app’s data), but go ahead and open the Bromite version to see the settings.

Here, tap on the three dot menu button in the top right corner and choose “Settings” to do some minor tinkering with the backend of your WebView. Once inside, choose ‘Privacy’ and check out all the options, most of which just weren’t available in Chrome. For privacy reasons, you definitely want to enable ‘Do Not Track’ and I also recommend enabling ‘Always open links on incognito tabs’.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much user-centric change with this mod – it’s all about the privacy improvements under the hood. Otherwise, you won’t be able to see anything that has changed from a visual point of view, as it is based on the same open source code as the standard WebView.

One thing to note is that this does not apply to links opened with Chrome or Chrome Custom Tabs, the full-fledged browser some apps use to display content. In addition, you may run into bugs with some apps that refuse to use any WebView other than the default.

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Cover image and screenshots from Dallas Thomas / Gadget Hacks

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