Proof of concept Android WebView implementation based on Chromium code
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Latest commit 03cb929 Nov 12, 2014 @pwnall Update README.md

README.md

Deprecation Notice

This project is un-maintained. The recommended alternative is the Crosswalk Project.

I did not have the time to keep the project up to date. In the mean time, the fine folks at Intel did a great job of embedding Chromium using the Content Shell API, which is what Chromium's developers intended. Therefore, I cannot justify spending any time on this. The original README and the code are here for historical purposes.

I think that the Crosswalk Project will meet all your embedding needs, and I'm contributing to it.

ChromeView

ChormeView works like Android's WebView, but is backed by the latest Chromium code.

Why ChromeView

ChromeView lets you ship your own Chromium code, instead of using whatever version comes with your user's Android image. This gives your application early access to the newest features in Chromium, and removes the variability due to different WebView implementations in different versions of Android.

Setting Up

This section explains how to set up your Android project to use ChromeView.

Get the Code

Check out the repository in your Eclipse workspace, and make your project use ChromeView as a library. In Eclipse, right-click your project directory, select Properties, choose the Android category, and click on the Add button in the Library section.

Copy Data

Copy assets/webviewchromium.pak to your project's assets directory. Star this bug if you agree that this is annoying.

In your Application subclass, call ChromeView.initialize and pass it the application's context. For example,

Initialize Chromium

import us.costan.chrome.ChromeView;
import android.app.Application;

public class MyApplication extends Application {
    @Override
    public void onCreate() {
        super.onCreate();
        ChromeView.initialize(this);
    }
}

Now you can use ChromeView in the same contexts as you would use WebView.

Star some bugs

If you use this project and want to help move it along, please star the following bugs.

Usage

To access ChromeView in the graphical layout editor, go to the Palette, expand the Custom and Library Views section, and click the Refresh button.

ChromeView supports most of the WebView methods. For example,

ChromeView chromeView = (ChromeView)findViewById(R.id.gameUiView);
chromeView.getSettings().setJavaScriptEnabled(true);
chromeView.loadUrl("http://www.google.com");

JavaScript

ChromeView's addJavaScriptInterface exposes public methods that are annotated with @ChromeJavascriptInterface. This is because WebView's @JavascriptInterface is only available on Android 4.2 and above, but ChromeView targets 4.0 and 4.1 as well.

import us.costan.chrome.ChromeJavascriptInterface;

public class JsBindings {
    @ChromeJavascriptInterface
    public String getHello() {
        return "Hello world";
    }
}

chromeView.addJavascriptInterface(new JsBindings(), "AndroidBindings");

Cookies

ChromeCookieManager is ChromeView's equivalent of CookieManager.

ChromeCookieManager.getInstance().getCookie("https://www.google.com");

Faster Development

To speed up the application launch on real devices, remove the libs/x86 directory. When developing on Atom devices, remove the ARM directory instead.

Remember to git checkout -- . and get the library back before building a release APK.

Internet Access

If your application manifest doesn't specify the INTERNET permission, the Chromium code behind ChromeView silentely blocks all network requests. This is mentioned here because it can be hard to debug.

Building

The bulk of this project is Chromium source code and build products. With the appropriate infrastructure, the Chromium bits can be easily updated.

crbuild/vm-build.md contains step-by-step instructions for setting up a VM and building the Chromium for Android components used by ChromeView.

Once Chromium has been successfully built, running crbuild/update.sh will copy the relevant bits from the build VM into the ChromeView source tree.

Issues

Attempting to scroll the view (by swiping a finger across the screen) does not update the displayed image. However, internally, the view is scrolled. This can be seen by displaying a stack of buttons and trying to click on the topmost one. This issue makes ChromeView mostly unusable in production.

The core issue is that the integration is done via AwContent in the android_webview directory of the Chromium source tree, which is experimental and not intended for embedding use. The "right" way of doing this is to embed a ContentView from the content directory, or a Shell in content/shell. Unfortunately, these components' APIs don't match WebView nearly as well as AwContent, and they're much harder to integrate. Pull requests or a fork would be welcome.

This repository is rebased often, because the large files in lib/ would result in a huge repository if new commits were created for each build. The large files are Chromium build products.

Contributing

Please don't hesitate to send your Pull Requests!

Please don't send pull requests including the binary assets or code extracted from Android (assets/, libs/, src/com/googlecode/ and src/org/android). If your Pull Request requires updated Android bits, mention that in the PR description, and I will rebuild the Android bits.

Copyright and License

The directories below contain code from the The Chromium Project, which is subject to the copyright and license on the project site.

  • assets/
  • libs/
  • src/com/googlecode
  • src/org/chromium

Some of the source code in src/us/costan/chrome has been derived from the Android source code, and is therefore covered by the Android project licenses.

The rest of the code is Copyright 2013, Victor Costan, and available under the MIT license.