Mastodon iOS clients

I recently had a thread about the various iOS apps available to use Mastodon. Following the thread is probably a nightmare, so I’ll try to aggregate it here.

I’ve been looking for a good iOS app to use with Mastodon. Feature-wise, I want to see my local and federated timelines. I also like easy access to view other instances. Here’s my thoughts on the apps I’ve tried so far.

Mastodon: clean, easy UI and the search is great. It’s lack of visibility into the federated timeline and no ability to see other servers public timeline is a dealbreaker for me.

Tootle: The power users client. Lots of features, everything is on the tab bar. Search is decent and you can pin another instance to the tab bar, which is awesome. I’m not a fan of “newest toots on top” when reading threads. And I occasionally have an issue where apostrophes are rendered as “‘” If the apostrophe is fixed, this could be a great app.

Mast: So close to great. The explore tab lets you easily see other instance timelines. The feed tab easily lets you switch between your follows, local timeline, and the federated timeline. It would be nice to see boosts and favorites numbers without having to tap on the toot, but that’s a minor gripe. My biggest issue is the search seems broken. You can’t really search for a user. It just doesn’t work, hence “so close to great”

Toot!: Unique UI. Credit the creator, I’ve never seen a tab swipe UI like Toot! has. You change between instances with a swipe in the bottom right. Instead of a screen sliding in from the left or right as you expect, the whole UI rotates in and out. Its a clever UX that more devs should try out. There’s a neat “relax” mode for when you need a break from social media. Where it fails me is not having a federated timeline view.

Toot! Follow up: You can see the federated timeline in Toot!. To do so, first tap on the instance icon in the tab bar. Then up top you can select the federated timeline.

Tooot: Simple UI with most of the features I’m looking for. The timelines have boost and favorite counts, it’s easy to see the local timeline vs federated, vs follows. But you can’t view another instance without logging in.

Browser client: Decent, but definitely won’t win the award for the prettiest UI. It’s easy to see the federated and local timelines. The search works great, just like the Mastodon app. But like the Mastodon app, you cannot easily see other server instances. So it’s a no for me dawg.

Metatext: Like all the other clients, Metatext is good, but not perfect. If you don’t want to browse other instance timelines, then you might be happy with Metatext. Unfortunately, if you do want to browse other instances, you have to add the other instance as an account, then switch to that account to browse. Finally, because you’re not logged in to that instance, you can’t favorite, boost or follow any users.

At the end of the day I’m bouncing around. But for now, I’ll use Tootle and hope for improvements in the coming updates. Ultimately if any of these apps solve my nit picky issues, I’ll probably switch to it.

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