WebApps developer frustration

WebApps, and to a lesser degree GApps Browser, have been a part of my custom ROM setups for a long time. The dev, Toby Kurien, may call it quits in the near future. Frustration with Google and Android, the Web, and devices one has less control over are a few.reasons.

An interesting post on his GitHub. Cool that he’ll be moving content to Gemini.

Issue # 253 (Future of WebApps, Web and Android, and other philosophical issues) at tobykurien/WebApps


Interesting. Looks like it is time to understand these bookmarks I had set from your posts better. Possibly a better way forward than a traditional browser as has been discussed here recently?Thanks for sharing.


Over the years Google’s heavy hand has caused a number of devs to jump ship or have their apps disappear from the Play Store. In some cases the apps are no longer updated as some devs will not abide by new policies.

But even back in the day there were many examples of headache and heartache with apps being pulled for lame arbitrary reasons. Android Tuner because it used the word “Android”. Since renamed to 3C Toolbox. Titanium Backup because their website had rooting information. I remember I was livid when that happened. Since when does Google’s hand reach out to external website content?!
Later, the removal of SMS sending/access capabilities for any app that wasn’t explicitly an SMS app or backup utility (a few that had to change were T-UI launcher, KWGT widget maker, Titanium Backup, etc.). Then of course the forced targeting of apps to SDK 29 (Android 10) or risk removal.

These, and other reasons, are why I’m an apk archivist. I have and use apps that are no longer available. Some are still useful but nowhere to be found at the Play Store or other sources. Also to be able to roll back if newer apps no longer function as freely as a pre-Q targeted app.
As far as Android in general, my interest started to wane after Lollipop. The less control I have the less interest I have. Almost the same as Windows. If I were still regularly on the platform I’d consider Windows XP the end-all be-all as I had almost full control over what I could do with it. So much so that my primary OS at the time (Slackware Linux) was pushed aside due to all the fun, development, and tweaking I could do on it. NT 6+ (Vista and higher) pretty much killed that.

Anyway, a couple of fairly recent examples of cutting ties with Google.

Termux and Android 10 - no more updates via GPlay

Nekogram-X/NekoX - screw Google’s hypocrisy

On their “previous post” mentioned in the article, they erroneously mentioned API 29 is Pie but it’s Q.
FTR, I had since replaced my Telegram installations with NekoX because of some feature reasons. Not because of any political or philosophical reasons.


We will see if anything comes of this. I hope more people are waking up.


I realize you don’t have a crystal ball. When you look back 7-10 years it seems these issues continue to compound. Are devs starting to uprise and move to a new platform? Why don’t we see this happening faster and non-Android solutions popping up?

My eyes have recently been opened (much from communication with @aibd) and I have completely abandoned iOS/MacOS/Windows for non Google ROMs (/e/ and alike)/Linux desktop.

It seems we need a mobileOS that has no dependency on Google. As long as Google “owns” (I think this is correct) Android it seems to me this is just a cat and mouse game. How do we get past it? What chatter do you hear on the subject? I realize this is extremely complicated with many moving parts. From what I gather Google seems to be attempting to choke off the air of anyone who wants free.

I figure I’d drop this here. Just came across another app similar to WebApps called Native Alpha. Haven’t had a chance to check it out yet.

Native Alpha - IzzyOnDroid Repository

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A sad thing to hear about WebApp. It is a nice tool. Hopefully the development continues.

Native Alpha appears to be similar regarding features.

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If you want a mobile OS different from android you could try SailfishOS or Plasma Mobile.

I love KDE softwares because of how they are “simple by default, powerful when needed”, so I’m watching Plasma mobile with great interest. The may downside compared to /e/ and Sailfish is that you cannot run Android apps. The problem with such a project is that it makes it even harder for developpers to

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It will be interesting to watch what P00gle does to continue and close Android off while still using the “Open Source” lingo.

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