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Objective-C Ruby

GTMAppAuth for iOS and macOS

GTMAppAuth enables you to use AppAuth with the Google Toolbox for Mac - Session Fetcher and Google APIs Client Library for Objective-C For REST libraries by providing an implementation of GTMFetcherAuthorizationProtocol for authorizing requests with AppAuth.

GTMAppAuth is an alternative authorizer to GTMOAuth2. The key differentiator is the use of the user's default browser for the authorization, which is more secure, more usable (the user's session can be reused) and follows modern OAuth best practices for native apps. Compatibility methods for GTMOAuth2 are offered allowing you to migrate from GTMOAuth2 to GTMAppAuth preserving previously serialized authorizations (so users shouldn't need to re-authenticate).


If you use CocoaPods, simply add:

pod 'GTMAppAuth'

To your Podfile and run pod install.



To configure GTMAppAuth with the OAuth endpoints for Google, you can use the convenience method:

OIDServiceConfiguration *configuration =
    [GTMAppAuthFetcherAuthorization configurationForGoogle];

Alternatively, you can configure GTMAppAuth by specifying the endpoints directly:

NSURL *authorizationEndpoint =
    [NSURL URLWithString:@""];
NSURL *tokenEndpoint =
    [NSURL URLWithString:@""];

OIDServiceConfiguration *configuration =
    [[OIDServiceConfiguration alloc]

// perform the auth request...

Or through discovery:

NSURL *issuer = [NSURL URLWithString:@""];

[OIDAuthorizationService discoverServiceConfigurationForIssuer:issuer
    completion:^(OIDServiceConfiguration *_Nullable configuration,
                 NSError *_Nullable error) {
  if (!configuration) {
    NSLog(@"Error retrieving discovery document: %@",
          [error localizedDescription]);

  // perform the auth request...


First, you need to have a way for your UIApplicationDelegate to continue the authorization flow session from the incoming redirect URI. Typically you could store the in-progress OIDAuthorizationFlowSession instance in a property:

// property of the app's UIApplicationDelegate
@property(nonatomic, nullable)
    id<OIDAuthorizationFlowSession> currentAuthorizationFlow;

And in a location accessible by all controllers that need authorization, a property to store the authorization state:

// property of the containing class
@property(nonatomic, nullable) GTMAppAuthFetcherAuthorization *authorization;

Then, initiate the authorization request. By using the authStateByPresentingAuthorizationRequest method, the OAuth token exchange will be performed automatically, and everything will be protected with PKCE (if the server supports it).

// builds authentication request
OIDAuthorizationRequest *request =
    [[OIDAuthorizationRequest alloc] initWithConfiguration:configuration
                                                    scopes:@[OIDScopeOpenID, OIDScopeProfile]
// performs authentication request
self.appDelegate.currentAuthorizationFlow =
    [OIDAuthState authStateByPresentingAuthorizationRequest:request
        callback:^(OIDAuthState *_Nullable authState,
                   NSError *_Nullable error) {
  if (authState) {
    // Creates the GTMAppAuthFetcherAuthorization from the OIDAuthState.
    GTMAppAuthFetcherAuthorization *authorization =
        [[GTMAppAuthFetcherAuthorization alloc] initWithAuthState:authState];

    self.authorization = authorization;
    NSLog(@"Got authorization tokens. Access token: %@",
  } else {
    NSLog(@"Authorization error: %@", [error localizedDescription]);
    self.authorization = nil;

Handling the Redirect

The authorization response URL is returned to the app via the platform-specific application delegate method, so you need to pipe this through to the current authorization session (created in the previous session).

macOS Custom URI Scheme Redirect Example

- (void)applicationDidFinishLaunching:(NSNotification *)aNotification {
  // Other app initialization code ...

  // Register for GetURL events.
  NSAppleEventManager *appleEventManager =
      [NSAppleEventManager sharedAppleEventManager];
  [appleEventManager setEventHandler:self

- (void)handleGetURLEvent:(NSAppleEventDescriptor *)event
           withReplyEvent:(NSAppleEventDescriptor *)replyEvent {
  NSString *URLString = [[event paramDescriptorForKeyword:keyDirectObject] stringValue];
  NSURL *URL = [NSURL URLWithString:URLString];
  [_currentAuthorizationFlow resumeAuthorizationFlowWithURL:URL];

iOS Custom URI Scheme Redirect Example

- (BOOL)application:(UIApplication *)app
            openURL:(NSURL *)url
            options:(NSDictionary<NSString *, id> *)options {
  // Sends the URL to the current authorization flow (if any) which will
  // process it if it relates to an authorization response.
  if ([_currentAuthorizationFlow resumeAuthorizationFlowWithURL:url]) {
    _currentAuthorizationFlow = nil;
    return YES;

  // Your additional URL handling (if any) goes here.

  return NO;

Making API Calls

The goal of GTMAppAuth is to enable you to authorize HTTP requests with fresh tokens following the Session Fetcher pattern, which you can do like so:

// Creates a GTMSessionFetcherService with the authorization.
// Normally you would save this service object and re-use it for all REST API calls.
GTMSessionFetcherService *fetcherService = [[GTMSessionFetcherService alloc] init];
fetcherService.authorizer = self.authorization;

// Creates a fetcher for the API call.
NSURL *userinfoEndpoint = [NSURL URLWithString:@""];
GTMSessionFetcher *fetcher = [fetcherService fetcherWithURL:userinfoEndpoint];
[fetcher beginFetchWithCompletionHandler:^(NSData *data, NSError *error) {
  // Checks for an error.
  if (error) {
    // OIDOAuthTokenErrorDomain indicates an issue with the authorization.
    if ([error.domain isEqual:OIDOAuthTokenErrorDomain]) {
      self.authorization = nil;
      NSLog(@"Authorization error during token refresh, clearing state. %@",
    // Other errors are assumed transient.
    } else {
      NSLog(@"Transient error during token refresh. %@", error);

  // Parses the JSON response.
  NSError *jsonError = nil;
  id jsonDictionaryOrArray =
      [NSJSONSerialization JSONObjectWithData:data options:0 error:&jsonError];

  // JSON error.
  if (jsonError) {
    NSLog(@"JSON decoding error %@", jsonError);

  // Success response!
  NSLog(@"Success: %@", jsonDictionaryOrArray);


You can easily serialize GTMAppAuthFetcherAuthorization objects using the included Keychain category.

// Serialize to Keychain
[GTMAppAuthFetcherAuthorization saveAuthorization:_authorization

// Deserialize from Keychain
GTMAppAuthFetcherAuthorization* authorization =
    [GTMAppAuthFetcherAuthorization authorizationFromKeychainForName:kGTMAppAuthExampleAuthorizerKey];

// Remove from Keychain

GTMOAuth2-compatible Serialization

To assist the migration from GTMOAuth2 to GTMAppAuth, GTMOAuth2-compatible serialization methods are provided in GTMOAuth2KeychainCompatibility.

// Deserialize from Keychain
GTMAppAuthFetcherAuthorization *auth =
    [GTMOAuth2KeychainCompatibility authForGoogleFromKeychainForName:kKeychainItemName

// Remove from Keychain
[GTMOAuth2KeychainCompatibility removeAuthFromKeychainForName:kKeychainItemName];

You can also serialize to GTMOAuth2 format, though this is discouraged (you should serialize in GTMAppAuth format as described above).

// Serialize to Keychain
[GTMOAuth2KeychainCompatibility saveAuthToKeychainForName:kKeychainItemName

Included Samples

Try out one of the included samples Example-Mac and Example-iOS. In the folder run pod install, then open the xcworkspace file.

Be sure to follow the instructions in Example-iOS/ or Example-macOS/ to configure your own OAuth client ID for use with the example.

Differences with GTMOAuth2

Authorization Method

GTMAppAuth uses the browser to present the authorization request, while GTMOAuth2 uses an embedded web-view. Migrating to GTMAppAuth will require you to change how you authorize the user. Follow the instructions above to get the authorization. You can then create a GTMAppAuthFetcherAuthorization object with the initWithAuthState:authState initializer.

Once you have the GTMAppAuthFetcherAuthorization you can continue to make REST calls as before.

Error Handling

GTMAppAuth's error handling is also different. There are no notifications, instead you need to inspect NSError in the callback. If the error domain is OIDOAuthTokenErrorDomain, it indicates an authorization error, you should clear your authorization state and consider prompting the user to authorize again. Other errors are generally considered transient, meaning that you should retry the request after a delay.


The serialization format is different between GTMOAuth2 and GTMAppAuth, though we have methods to help you migrate from one to the other without losing any data.

Migrating from GTMOAuth2

OAuth Client Registration

Typically, GTMOAuth2 clients are registered with Google as type "Other". This is correct for macOS, but on iOS clients should be registered with the type "iOS".

If you're migrating an iOS client, in the same project as your existing client, register a new iOS client to be used with GTMAppAuth.

Changing your Authorization Flows

Both GTMOAuth2 and GTMAppAuth support the GTMFetcherAuthorizationProtocol allowing you to use the authorization with the session fetcher. Where you previously had a property like GTMOAuth2Authentication *authorization change the type to reference the protocol instead, i.e.: id<GTMFetcherAuthorizationProtocol> authorization. This allows you to switch the authorization implementation under the hood to GTMAppAuth.

Then, follow the instructions above to replace authorization request (where you ask the user to grant access) with the GTMAppAuth approach. If you created a new OAuth client, use that for these requests.

Serialization & Migrating Existing Grants

GTMAppAuth has a different way to serialize the authorization. Change how you serialize your authorization object using the new methods, e.g.:

// Serialize to Keychain
[GTMAppAuthFetcherAuthorization saveAuthorization:(GTMAppAuthFetcherAuthorization *)authorization

Be sure to use a new name for the keychain. Don't reuse your existing one!

For deserializing, we can preserve all existing grants (so users who authorized your app in GTMOAuth2 don't have to authorize it again). Remember that when deserializing the old data you need to use your old keychain name, and the old client id and client secret (if those changed). Pay particular care to use the old details when deserializing the GTMOAuth2 keychain, and the new details for all other GTMAppAuth calls.

Keychain migration example:

// Attempt to deserialize from Keychain in GTMAppAuth format.
id<GTMFetcherAuthorizationProtocol> authorization =
    [GTMAppAuthFetcherAuthorization authorizationFromKeychainForName:kNewKeychainName];

// If no data found in the new format, try to deserialize data from GTMOAuth2
if (!authorization) {
  // Tries to load the data serialized by GTMOAuth2 using old keychain name.
  // If you created a new client id, be sure to use the *previous* client id and secret here.
  authorization =
      [GTMOAuth2KeychainCompatibility authForGoogleFromKeychainForName:kPreviousKeychainName
  if (authorization) {
    // Remove previously stored GTMOAuth2-formatted data.
    [GTMOAuth2KeychainCompatibility removeAuthFromKeychainForName:kPreviousKeychainName];
    // Serialize to Keychain in GTMAppAuth format.
    [GTMAppAuthFetcherAuthorization saveAuthorization:(GTMAppAuthFetcherAuthorization *)authorization