Passwordless Auth Android Bad UX

Please provide the following:

  1. SDK Version: 42
  2. Platforms(Android/iOS/web/all): Android
  3. expo-auth-session

We’re using AuthSession to get users logged in through Auth0. We’ve found that users really love the passwordless flow we setup in the past few months, but we’re running into some UX issues on Android.

Here’s what’s happening…

  1. And android user clicks “login”
  2. A browser window opens, managed by AuthSession. (Note: we must use showInRecents: true in the config, because if we don’t, when the user leaves the app to get their code, when they come back, the browser page refreshes, and the flow has reset.)
  3. Because of the Note above, some users go back to the app, rather than the now separate browser window.
  4. The user clicks login and the flow resets, and the user gets frustrated.

Essentially we’ve got two crappy UX options:

  1. The app starts the login flow with a browser window tied to the app. The user gets their login code without leaving the app somehow (from a separate device, or perhaps if they’re lucky enough to see the code text in their notifications from email). Otherwise if they leave the app the flow resets and they get frustrated.
  2. The app starts the login flow with a browser window with showInRecents effectively creating a window that is disconnected from the app, UX-wise. They can now leave the flow to get their code, but for some less savvy users, they think they must return to the app, rather than the browser, which causes the flow to reset, and the user to get frustrated.

The ideal UX would be option 1, but where the browser window didn’t refresh when the app is re-focused. This is the behaviour on iOS. It would be nice for the behaviour to be the same on Android, though I don’t know the limitations of the underlying APIs.

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