How to use the current Chrome Engine for Cordova Apps?


I have a very big problem and unfortunately I cannot find a solution. Help from some professionals would be really great. Thanks!

The little problem
I have a Web App / Android App based on Cordova. My app needs at least the Chrome Engine 50 to support all functions and looks right. Unfortunately I noticed that there are many devices that use a much older version. Also the devices do not use a common source for the Chrome Engine. Some use the Chrome Browser itself or the Android System WebView. In these two cases I can tell my testers, install the two things and then it works. Currently I check at the start of the app which version is installed and if it is less than 50 I show an info that users have to update ther apps / components particularly important here the two things (Chrome Browser itself or the Android System WebView). That alone I find very unpleasant.

The biger problem
But it is worse with devices that have their own Chrome Engine built into the firmware. So one that you can not update at all via the apps update only just the hardware manufacturer of the phone can update them with firmware updates. So many cheap devices that don’t get any more updates simply fall out and bring me possibly bad ratings.

What can you do?
Maybe someone has an idea? Because this way I can put my app in the store from Android 4.4 on but even 6.0 devices have older Chrome Engine versions in their firmwares. Can’t I provide a chrome engine version or say I use it there from Chrome or from the Android system WebView? I’m really on the edge and need a clever solution.

I would be very happy about some help or exchange. Thanks a lot.

Best regards

Hello and welcome to the forum :slight_smile:!

There isn’t much you can do :frowning:. Unfortunately the team took a bad decision: building your app from the greatest supported version instead of the lowest. When you build apps, you usually start with the minimum supported version of the target device, not the other way around.

That said, I think you could:

  • Create your own version of cordova that ships with it’s own web view. This may be a lot of work.
  • Build your app from the ground up using NativeScript or React Native. It’s not the best option, but certainly better than the first. With this approach you may be able to reuse some (or all) the code (specially with native script).

This options do require more work and you may not have time to do it. I can’t think of other alternatives, but maybe someone else has another alternative :slight_smile:.

It may vary from country to country (I’m from Chile), but that’s not only for cheap devices. In my (user) experience, my devices (Samsung mid-tier/high end tier; the same goes to most/all brands?) didn’t receive more than one OS update (from android 4.4 to 5.1, for example, and that’s it; I rooted my devices to install custom ROMs after I knew updates weren’t coming). I’ve moved from Android to iOS just because Apple has a kind of long term support which, at least, continues to update system software.

In regards to ratings, I think if you specify a minimum version (Android 6, for instance), the app should not appear as an option to be installed on Google Play. I know it’s not a solution, but may give you time to rebuild the app.

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I found an answer on Stack Overflow which recommends Crosswalk:

Put simply, it packages a Chromium based webview inside your apk and it’s backed by Intel. You can use it starting from Android 4.X.

Which is pretty much the first “solution” I wrote :sweat_smile: on my previous answer.

There says that a plugin for cordova 4 exists, so it should be easier to implement and faster than rebuilding :sweat_smile:.

I hope it helps :slight_smile:!


Here is a link to the cordova crosswalk plugin repository.

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Hey skaparate,

Glad to be here. :slight_smile: Thank you very much for your commitment. :slight_smile: That’s very nice of you. Looks interesting. I’ll have a look at it and give you feedback here in any case.

Until then, thanks a lot!

Greetings and stay well

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