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My in-depth comparative review of eight Mastodon apps for iPhone

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transponderings.blog/2022/05/2

@transponderings Thanks for this! Really informative, I'm now off to download Toot! (Had been using the official app until now)

@aimee @transponderings I'm really enjoying @tootapp. It's so much fun using it.

Hope that @WAHa_06x36 / Dag Ågren doesn't drop the support for it. 🥺

@transponderings Have settled in with Metatext for my mobile fediverse needs for the past few months. As your review said, none of these are perfect, but it’s good to see so many folks trying to Make It Work Well!

@transponderings @esdin unfortunately, the only two apps in active development are Tooot and Mastodon 😕

@transponderings awesome! always wanted to know the differences between them. this will come as a handy reference

Thank you for this, we were in need of an updated overview for the iOS apps and this is absolutely great and in depth. I unfortunately agree with you on Fedi, I started using it for Pleroma because it’s the only one that retain the custom UI for some instances..but even with that, the app feels buggy a lot (laggy scrolling, buggy media players, and inconsistent notifications) that I am not sure if I can keep using it (I didn’t even know about their recommendations..).

@transponderings That’s a great article! 👏🏼 👏🏼 👏🏼 Metatext by @metabolist is the best Mastodon app at the moment. Unfortunately, you won’t see new features there anymore, maybe bug fixes. That’s a shame, as Mastodon’s official app still needs some time to improve, especially around memory consumption and how it manages the timeline.

@transponderings @bazbt3 I’ve tried all the same apps as well and come to basically the same kind of conclusion, none are 100% what I want but Toot! is fun and works better than the rest. Good article. Thanks.

@transponderings @Ronnie I skipped to the tl;dr but felt guilty and read it all. After trying all the apps updated in the last year-ish I too decided on Toot! - and don't think it's confirmation bias after spending the money either. Thanks too.

@Ronnie @transponderings @bazbt3 i woud be happy if there was something like a feature complete twitteriffic with opendyslexic as a choice.
But for now, toot!

@antijingoist @Ronnie @transponderings I've used Twitter's official app since they rate-limited & reduced API access to third-party apps. Forgot to check where others are upto.

Your toot moved me to tweet:

"@bazbt3: This might seem a bit counterintuitive, perverse, silly, etc., but even though I've been spending more time on Mastodon than on Twitter I replaced the official Twitter app with @Twitterrific iOS. The *really* silly bit, I've paid.

(There's probably only one @bazbt3 on Mastodon)."

@bazbt3 @Ronnie @transponderings
@bigzaphod would be happy to know you did that. :)

I also paid for it. Its worth it, esp after adding custom themes. I miss the notifications though, but that's out of their control.

@antijingoist @Ronnie @transponderings I've been trying to not mention @bigzaphod because I bet they get pestered every single day for a feature-complete Mastodon app. Every day. At least once. But I was really really tempted to. Phew, what a relief! 😇

@bigzaphod @antijingoist @Ronnie @transponderings Phew, it's just turned Sunday here, a day in which no-one has yet mentioned wanting a lovingly crafted feature-complete Mastodon app.

Waitaminute….

/me pre-emptively shuts TFU. :)

@transponderings Great read! Mastodon also works extremely well as a PWA using the iOS ‘add to Home Screen ’ functionality for those who don’t want to install anything.

PWA = progressive web app

(For anyone else who hadn’t come across that term)

@fossfreelancer @transponderings Although sadly, PWAs on iPhones are very restrictive or no existing compared to Android phones. Thank Apple for that.

@transponderings Great article!
I tried the Mastodon app for a few minutes and it has so many drawbacks that it's unusable :blobnervous:
I started using Metatext right after that and I'm so happy with it (especially now when emoji margin in profile names has been fixed). It has a few little issues, the most annoying one are delayed notifications, but I can live with that.
FYI Metatext shows when the person is following you (it was mentioned in the Profile information section).

@transponderings I like Metatext a lot, but it seems to be in maintenance mode, so presumably it won’t be picking up new Mastodon features as they’re introduced. Like you said, though, switching is easy!

@transponderings great job! Being able to look at some things like preferences logged-out can be useful though? Otherwise feel like it's being opaque unless i give it credentials to an account..

I like being able to read/draft posts offline. (Tusky is ok, but not perfect, on this, it already has a microsoft-github issue on this)

@jasper Perhaps, yes

I just felt that putting settings up-front could be a bit overwhelming for the new user – and I imagine most people would want to try out-of-the-box experience first before tweaking it

Yes, reading and drafting posts offline would be useful sometimes – it’s not something I’d considered

@transponderings That was a long read! I feel like the first-time Mastodon experience was glossed over a little. I think that's where our official app really sets itself apart from the competition.

@Gargron Yes, I did like the initial setup in the official app, and there are things I glossed over there

However, I had to gloss over things just about everywhere or the post would have been even longer! And I felt it was more important to say what the apps were like in day-to-day use rather than just on day one

Thanks for reading it!

@gargron @transponderings I gave a friend a cybre.space invite and they tried to log in on the official iOS app but cybre.space wasn't in the list of instances and we couldn't figure out how to set a custom instance. That was not a good first-time experience.

@gargron @transponderings We tried, it didn't work. Ended up using Pinafore instead.

@easrng @Gargron Just tried it myself, and can confirm that it works (at least for me, today!)

@transponderings there is a screen reader guide to Mastodon here that I would like you to link to in your blog post. starshipchangeling.net/mastodo As to your navigation, using voice over, you have to use rotor actions and a lot of things are controlled by rotor actions which makes apps like Metatext extremely accessible and very easy to use. Otherwise, you did a very good review of each app

@transponderings I’ve also been using every client on iOS this last week in the hopes of finding the perfect one. Metatext is the closest for me but I’d feel a lot more confident in that if there wasn’t the cloud of long term support.

@vmstan At least it’s one of the three apps that have had updates this year

@transponderings I’m wondering if we crowd source some tips/donations to folks if it would spur the developers to keep them going.

I’ve paid subscriptions and updates for years to the devs of both Tweetbot and Twitteriffic to keep them going, even when I was using the official Birdsite app more often than not.

@vmstan At least a couple of the apps do have in-app purchases that are essentially tips, but I agree that developers (or perhaps separate maintainers) should have some incentive to keep their apps up to date

@transponderings @vmstan I hope someone releases a Tootbot with annual subscription! 😄

@transponderings thank you for putting so much work into this but i feel the need to give you a little helpful criticism—this format is very inaccessible to many different types of disabled people because it doesn’t conclusively compare the apps to one another in an easy to find and understand kind of way. this is a very long essay and probably the incorrect format to approach this type of information communication

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