Google added a feature into Android Nougat to set the Chrome WebView as the default WebView and disable the Android System WebView by default. This feature helps Android users by minimizing the resource footprint of the Android System WebView when not in use, while still enabling users to disable Chrome and revert to a non-Chrome WebView.
In refining this feature for Android O, a bug has been introduced in Android that is unique to work profiles: on Android O devices, inflating a work profile breaks WebViews for both personal and work profiles when Chrome is not enabled in all profiles, causing apps that invoke a WebView to crash. To learn more, please review Google's post about this issue.
- Android for Work enrollments in Work profile mode are likely to fail during the creation of the work profile.
- Use of Workspace ONE and the App Catalog are likely to fail if Chrome is not enabled in the work profile. This is the case even if the device upgrades to Android O from a lower version.
- Use of Adaptive Management in the Workspace ONE app is likely to fail if a restriction profile disallowing Chrome Browser is applied to the device.
To mitigate this issue, changes have been made to Android Agent v7.3 and Android Workspace ONE v3.1, to ensure Chrome is unrestricted by default and cannot be uninstalled. This change applies to Work Profiles. We are working with Google for a fix in a future release of Android.
For devices on Android Agent v7.2 or older, admins will need to ensure that the Chrome application is not restricted. This can be done by checking the "Allow Chrome Browser" checkbox in the Restrictions payload of an Android profile, as shown below.
If the Chrome browser must be disabled, it is recommended to use push the below XML as a Custom Settings profile to suspend Chrome.
<characteristic type="com.airwatch.android.androidwork.application" uuid="df2ecf66-3b70-4a8a-baea-14a089b717a2">
<parm name="SuspendedApplicationName" value="Chrome" />
<parm name="SuspendedApplicationId" value="com.android.chrome" />
<parm name="SuspendApps" value="True" />
The end user will still see the Chrome icon on the homescreen, however, the icon will be grayed out and Chrome cannot be used. Suspending Chrome ensures that the end user cannot use Chrome, but the Webview crash described above will not happen.
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The AirWatch Team