Jahed Ahmed

with Big Tech

I've been looking into adding more sign-in providers to FrontierNav. Previously FrontierNav supported Facebook, Twitter and a few others. As policies changed, only Google, GitHub and Email now remain. Most visitors use Google. I'm sure it's the most convenient of any other sign-in provider. Google logins are used for Chrome afterall, and Chrome is the most popular browser.

I felt this situation was a bit unfair for anyone not using Google. There are a large number of people who use their default browsers: Edge and Safari. Both browsers are well integrated into their operating systems. Why not support them too?

Under the hood, FrontierNav uses Firebase Authentication. "Sign-in with Google" is already setup and adding additional providers is straight forward. It's a matter of creating a developer account, copy some API keys, paste them in, add a button, and it's done. Or so I thought.

with Microsoft

Microsoft took me through a rollercoaster of registration forms, payment details, verification. It requires an Azure account, after creating one with all of my usual details, it rejected me for their "free-tier" with no specific reason. I didn't even want the free-tier, I was just going to use their auth service. It then took me to another registration flow, asked for the same details, for a normal tier I assume, which also rejected me. Dead end. What now? I tried logging in anyway and... it worked. What was that all about? It was smooth sailing after that. I created an app, setup authentication, copied some credentials, the usual; except the part where it started mentioning Active Directory like I cared.

Azure's jankiness feels very much like Windows so at least that's consistent. Thinking about it, Bing refuses to index FronterNav at all, for no reason and vague errors. They don't reply to my emails about it either. So I guess Microsoft just likes rejecting me.

with Apple

I made an Apple account around 10 years ago, used it while I had a Macbook, then stopped using it around 5 years ago. So I thought I'd use that to sign up for a developer account. Except I couldn't. I could sign-in and access some services, but it would eventually start asking me "security questions" to which I had no answer to and alternative methods which glitched out. I can't even access any interfaces to delete it. Maybe the account's too old and it missed a few migrations so it's not working right.

I'll just create a new account. Simple enough. Until I got to a literal paywall. £79 for a developer account. Alright, fine. Hang on... per year?! Just so I can give Apple visitors a convenience for a free service? And if I stopped paying, they won't be able to access their accounts. What? No. Apple is treating their customers like cattle. Are they building a platform or a farm?


So, "Sign-in with Microsoft" is now available on FrontierNav. I'm not sure how popular it'll be but we'll see. I'd rather not go through this process again. I just wish Firebase supported WebAuthn.

Thanks for reading.