Xamarin Android system browser considerations for using MSAL.NET

This article discusses what you should consider when you use the system browser on Xamarin Android with the Microsoft Authentication Library for .NET (MSAL.NET).

Starting with MSAL.NET 2.4.0 Preview, MSAL.NET supports browsers other than Chrome. It no longer requires Chrome be installed on the Android device for authentication.

We recommend that you use browsers that support custom tabs. Here are some examples of these browsers:

Browsers that have custom tabs support Package name
Chrome com.android.chrome
Microsoft Edge com.microsoft.emmx
Firefox org.mozilla.firefox
Ecosia com.ecosia.android
Kiwi com.kiwibrowser.browser
Brave com.brave.browser

In addition to identifying browsers that offer custom tabs support, our testing indicates that a few browsers that don't support custom tabs also work for authentication. These browsers include Opera, Opera Mini, InBrowser, and Maxthon.

Tested devices and browsers

The following table lists the devices and browsers that have been tested for authentication compatibility.

Device Browser Result
Huawei/One+ Chrome* Pass
Huawei/One+ Edge* Pass
Huawei/One+ Firefox* Pass
Huawei/One+ Brave* Pass
One+ Ecosia* Pass
One+ Kiwi* Pass
Huawei/One+ Opera Pass
Huawei OperaMini Pass
Huawei/One+ InBrowser Pass
One+ Maxthon Pass
Huawei/One+ DuckDuckGo User canceled authentication
Huawei/One+ UC Browser User canceled authentication
One+ Dolphin User canceled authentication
One+ CM Browser User canceled authentication
Huawei/One+ None installed AndroidActivityNotFound exception

* Supports custom tabs

Known issues

If the user has no browser enabled on the device, MSAL.NET will throw an AndroidActivityNotFound exception.

  • Mitigation: Ask the user to enable a browser on their device. Recommend a browser that supports custom tabs.

If authentication fails (for example, if authentication launches with DuckDuckGo), MSAL.NET will return AuthenticationCanceled MsalClientException.

  • Root problem: A browser that supports custom tabs wasn't enabled on the device. Authentication launched with a browser that couldn't complete authentication.
  • Mitigation: Ask the user to enable a browser on their device. Recommend a browser that supports custom tabs.

Next steps

For more information and code examples, see Choosing between an embedded web browser and a system browser on Xamarin Android and Embedded versus system web UI.