The Android 4.4, KitKat release contains a new WebView implementation built on Chromium open source technology.

The Chromium WebView is a complete overhaul of the Android WebView API. It means that the same rendering engine and software stack that powers Chrome is available for use by app developers targeting Android 4.4 KitKat, helping power games, social networks, news and blog readers, in-app ads, and of course complete web browsers. With it comes support for the latest HTML5 and CSS features and a dramatic upgrade of V8 for top-end JavaScript performance.

Chromium WebView is present on all devices running Android 4.4 and applications using WebView will transition to it automatically, no user intervention required. We’ve aimed to make the transition simple for developers too, while also paving the way to increased open web standards convergence. Most applications will continue to function unaltered, and we've prepared an Android 4.4 WebView migration guide to walk developers through the important changes.

With DevTools remote debugging support for WebView, developing and analyzing web content inside native Android applications is as easy as debugging a web page on desktop Chrome, offering a productivity boost to developers.

Best of all, it’s entirely open source, and is available in the Android 4.4 KitKat AOSP release built on a snapshot of the latest stable Chromium source tree. We're looking forward to working with the broader Chromium community to continue improving WebView. Watch and the chromium-dev mailing list for future updates on getting involved in the Chromium WebView development. In the meantime, you can check out the Chromium WebView FAQ.

Happy developing from all of the Chromium WebView team!

Posted by Jonathan Dixon and Ben Murdoch, Ambassadors of Chocolate Treats