Web View Applications
App browser challange
Over time, more and more developers have built brower experiences incorporating third-party content into their Android application,
with the goal of creating a more seamless experience for their users when navigating to third-party websites. Those experiences became known as in-app browsers.
Custom Tabs was introduced in Chrome 45 and allows developers to use a tab from the user’s default browser as part of their application. Custom Tabs was originally launched by Chrome, and was therefore known as “Chrome Custom Tabs”. Today it’s an Android API and most popular browsers support Custom Tabs, including Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Samsung Internet, so it’s more appropriate to just call it “Custom Tabs”.
TRUSTED WEB ACTIVITY
Custom Tabs has support for all modern web capabilities and APIs but, since it was primarily designed to open third-party content, it has a toolbar on the top that tells the users which URL they are visiting, as well as the lock icon indicating whether the site is secure.
When opening an app’s own experience, the toolbar prevents the application from feeling like it is integrated with the operating system.
Limitations of the current solutions
Custom Tabs is effectively a tab rendered by the user’s browser, with a custom UI or with no UI at all. This means that the browser needs to honour the user’s expectations around privacy and security towards the browser, making some of those features impossible.