Why won't I stay logged in to Ducky when using the Gmail app?

Short summary

If you use the Gmail app on iOS, registering on Ducky can be difficult. In short, you should stay in the same browser all the way from clicking a campaign link, registering on the campaign, and clicking the "log in" button in the first email from Ducky. The Gmail app will potentially send you to another browser when you click links, and then you cannot log in.

What should you do?

  1. Use the standard Apple Mail app instead of the Gmail app
  2. Or continue using the Gmail app but make sure Chrome is set as the default browser for opening links. Look in your Gmail app settings.

Detailed description

When does this issue occur?

  1. Click a campaign link or open ducky.eco in any browser on iOS
  2. Enter name and email as necessary and click "register" or "log in"
  3. Open the "Log in to Ducky" email and click the button
  4. The Gmail app will either ask you which browser to use, or open the link in the default browser (set in the Gmail app settings). This issue appears if you open the link in Safari
  5. Gmail now opens a in-app browser window. This is temporary and separate from when you started the log in process, so you cannot log in. You will be asked to register again (infinite loop)

Why does this issue occur?

Gmail has its own settings for how to open links. This is different from the Apple Mail app which always opens links in Safari. In Gmail you can choose either “open links in Safari” or "open links in Chrome" if you have Chrome installed. There seems to be two bugs in the Gmail app:

  1. Clicking “open links in Safari” makes Gmail open a temporary in-app browser window instead of the real Safari browser
  2. Clicking “open links in Safari” makes other browsers unavailable in the settings (you're stuck with this choice)

The temporary Safari in-app browser window does not share cookies or authentication with other browsers. Meaning you can never log in this way and stay logged in.

Planned fix

Gmail issues cannot be fixed by Ducky. Both issues have been reported to the Google Firebase team and Gmail team. If the Gmail app in a future release opens links in a proper browser we should be good.

The issue might also apply to any other email apps. In which case Ducky's Firebase Passwordless email login must be dropped entirely. Let us know if this is happening to you!


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