Google has scrapped its latest Chrome update following an outpouring of complaints over lost data.
Search engine giant Google has been forced to halt its rollout of its latest Chrome update for Android after a serious flaw was found to be deleting user data and resetting mobile apps.
After the update went live on December 10th,
Google was inundated with complaints from users who had lost essential login data in third-party apps after installing Chrome 79.
One developer said: “This is a catastrophe. Our users’ data are being deleted as they receive the update.” Others said their apps had been flooded with negative reviews on Google’s Play Store after the bug made the unusable.
Another developer of a mobile cash management app said: “When I say ‘broken’, I mean that their encrypted login information has been wiped and they can’t remember their credentials (and resetting them are practically impossible in the case of our app).”
Google developers said they had made a mistake with the update by forgetting to move the contents of local storage or web SQL into the new Chrome 79 directory, making the data inaccessible for all users.
These storage systems allow a website or web app to store data on a user’s device, inside a user’s Chrome profile directory.
local storage and web SQL are frequently used by mobile app developers. These apps are dependant on mechanisms like local storage or web SQL to save settings and user data locally.
By the time the Google halted the update already 50% had been rolled out to Android users worldwide.
Google confirmed that any app that Chrome via Android’s built-in web view system could be affected. The company said it could take up to a week to fix the issue.
According to The Register, the update does not delete the data but makes it invisible, which it can be retrieved by a developer or debug tool.
It now appears Google plans to revert the storage location back to where it was, which means the new data the users have created will become invisible, but the old data will return.