Google breaks Gmail attachment names in Microsoft Edge

Chromium Edge

Microsoft’s new
Chromium-based Edge browser has been in public testing for
more than a year and it’s a lot like Chrome, which also uses
Chromium. Using Chromium and Blink rendering engine was
supposed to help with compatibility, but some Google services
are reportedly not working properly in Edge.

As some people have discovered, Google services sniff
‘Microsoft Edge’ in the user-agent header and spurious warnings
are displayed.

All browsers including Edge, Chrome and Vivaldi have their own
‘User Agent, which is a line of text that is sent from the
browser to the website that you open.

The User Agents are used to present a better experience for the
particular browser by the websites. While User Agents are a
great way to improve the web browsing experience, it has been
misused by some web developers and even the bigger tech
companies.

In 2019, users noticed that Google is blocking Google Meet,
Google Docs, YouTube Music and other services in Microsoft’s
Chromium-based browser, and changing the User Agent to ‘Chrome
– Windows’ from ‘Edg – Windows’ makes the page work just fine.

It appears that the search engine giant’s services are still
sniffing Microsoft Edge and few other browsers. As noted by
Microsoft Edge engineer Eric Lawrence, Google’s Gmail sniffs
the Chromium Edge and it incorrectly returns the name of the
attachments.

“When found, GMail returns a |Content-Disposition: attachment|
header with a filename encoded incorrectly, resulting in
Unicode characters being replaced with underscores,” Lawrence
said.

According to Microsoft engineer, Google may have a bad
UASniff-to-NonStandardsBehavior table somewhere and the
approach they’re serving in Chromium Edge should be used for
IE8 and lower.

“When they see the “Edg/” token in the User-Agent, they encode
the Filename attribute of the Content-Disposition header using
raw bytes rather than RFC-specified encoded UTF8,” he noted.

As a result, the attachments with Unicode texts are saved with
an incorrect name in Microsoft Edge.

Another Chromium-based browser Vivaldi has had similar issues
with Google services, which they resolved by displaying a
User Agent that appears to be identical to Chrome.

“Google services sniffing for “Vivaldi” was a big part of the
reason behind us dropping the user agent altogether in our last
update,” the company said.

While this could be termed as another accident or
misunderstanding, Google does have a tendency to “outfox” other
companies.

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