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Last week I found out that as of Chrome 48
window.innerWidth/Height no longer exposes the dimensions of the visual viewport. Instead, it now exposes the dimensions of the layout viewport, and is thus a copy of
I’m not happy with this change. So it’s time for me to don my ceremonial robes as Guardian of the Viewports and ask the Chrome team to revert this change and restore the visual viewport to its rightful place.
There are three reasons why I think Chrome is making a mistake here:
- It breaks the web. ALL other browsers support this.
- It takes one simple trick for web developers to avoid problems with these properties, so the change is not necessary.
- It chokes innovation, in particular zoom-based layouts.
After my recent post about updating Chromium WebViews I was contacted by Scientia Mobile, the company behind the WURFL database, and was offered actual real-life stats!
The situation is less dire than I assumed. About 90% of the users do in fact use the latest Chromium WebView. This number is based on several hundred million hits in December 2015, primarily from North America and Europe.
This week I received my first gift phone in ages, and since the sender wants me to test it I had to go through all my dozen Android phones and update them as well, so that I can run tests against the latest installed Chromia.
During this process I began to have serious doubts about the update process of the Chromium WebView especially, though the same problems also crop up with regular Google Chrome.
TL;DR: Although, as promised, the Chromium WebView can be updated as a stand-alone app from Android 5 on, I doubt if consumers actually do so because Android’s update process is badly broken. Thus a wide variety of WebViews may be in use right now.
Fair warning: if you are unable to contemplate the simultaneous existence of several Chromium versions running on the same device without suffering from existential angst the reading of this article is discouraged until you’ve consulted your psychiatrist.
See the QuirksBlog homepage for older entries.