Use the Cognito hosted UI

Amazon Cognito offers a hosted user interface, i.e. a web based authentication view that can be shared between your mobile and web clients. The hosted UI is a customisable OAuth 2.0 flow that allows to launch a login screen without embedding the SDK for Cognito or a Social provider in your application.

You can learn more about the Hosted UI experience in the Amplify documentation or in the Amazon Cognito documentation.

The code to launch the hosted UI is already in AppDelegate class (DO NOT copy it, the below is just for exploration):

    public func authenticateWithHostedUI(navigationController : UINavigationController) {
        // Optionally override the scopes based on the usecase.
        let hostedUIOptions = HostedUIOptions(scopes: ["openid", "email", "profile", "aws.cognito.signin.user.admin"])

        // Present the Hosted UI sign in.
        AWSMobileClient.default().showSignIn(navigationController: navigationController, hostedUIOptions: hostedUIOptions) { (userState, error) in
            if let error = error as? AWSMobileClientError {
            if let userState = userState {
                print("Status: \(userState.rawValue)")


Notice that the showSignIn() is used to display both the dropin UI and the hosted UI. The difference lies in the options passed. To show the drop in UI, pass a HostedUIOptions object.

To experiment the hosted UI, you replace one line of code in the file Landmarks/LoginViewController.swift:

    func authenticate() {
        let app = UIApplication.shared.delegate as! AppDelegate        
//        app.authenticateWithDropinUI(navigationController: navController)
        app.authenticateWithHostedUI(navigationController: navController)

Last step is to configure the iOS app to accept the redirection URL.

Setup Amazon Cognito Hosted UI in iOS App

Uppon sucessful authentication, the OAuth server (Facebook’s authentication page in this case) redirects to the URI we provided when we configure Amplify authentication in step 3.1. We used the landmarks:// URI. We need to tell iOS to launch our app when a request is made for this URI.

To do this, we add landmarks:// to the app’s URL schemes:

  1. In XCode, right-click Info.plist and then choose Open As > Source Code.

  2. Add the following entry in URL scheme:

    <plist version="1.0">
         <!-- ADD AN ENTRY TO CFBundleURLTypes for Cognito Auth -->
         <!-- ... -->

Build and test

Build and launch the application to verify everything is working as expected. Click the build icon or press ⌘R. build

If you are still authenticated, click Sign Out and click the user badge to sign in again. You should see this:

customized drop in UI

The very first time user launches the hosted UI, iOS displays a confirmation message to inform users they are going to open a web address. This message is part of iOS Universal Link and can not be modified.