Android offers a variety of ways to present content to a user. To provide a user experience
that’s consistent with the rest of the platform, it’s usually best to build a native app that
incorporates framework-provided experiences, such as Android App
Links or Search. Additionally, you can use Google
Play-based experiences, such as App Actions and
Slices, where Google Play services is available. Some apps, however, may
need increased control over the UI. In this case, a
is a good option for displaying trusted first-party content.
Figure 1 illustrates how you can provide access to your web pages from
either a browser or your own Android app. The
WebView framework allows you to specify
viewport and style properties that make your web pages appear at the
proper size and scale on all screen configurations for all major web browsers.
You can even define an interface between your Android app
app—providing Android APIs to your web-based application.
However, you shouldn't develop an Android app simply as a means to view your website. Rather, the web pages you embed in your app should be designed especially for that environment.
Alternatives to WebView
WebView objects provide increased control over the UI, there are
alternatives that may provide similar functionality with various advantages: they require less
configuration, may load and perform faster, provide improved privacy protections, and can access
the browser's cookies.
Consider using these alternatives to
WebView if your app falls into the
following use cases:
- If you want to send users to a mobile site, build a progressive web app (PWA).
- If you want to display third-party web content, send an intent to installed web browsers.
- If you want to avoid leaving your app to open the browser, or if you want to customize the browser's UI, use Custom Tabs.
To start developing web pages for Android-powered devices using
see the following documents.