Mastodon apps on iPhone and Android devices that were previously left abandoned are now seeing updates to get them up and running again for the thousands of new users who have signed up to the platform. New apps are also now in development.
I’ve spoken before of how Mastodon’s official app on iOS (opens in new tab) And Android refuses to work for me, but I’ve recently found two third-party apps that have allowed me to sign in, create new posts, and follow new users without issue.
Developers have informed me that they’re starting to look into plans for their own Mastodon apps, as the current ones are restricted in what you can do on the platform. Meanwhile, there are many available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store that simply don’t work.
With this in mind, here are two apps available on iOS 16 and Android 13 that are worth trying out. These apps try to simplify how Mastodon works, and could be a great Twitter alternative if Elon Musk’s constant changes are already alienating you from the blue bird site.
Developer Shihab Mehboob (opens in new tab) previously gave me his thoughts about WWDC way back in 2021 and now he’s back, developing a brand new Mastodon app called Mammoth, releasing it just this week.
Mehboob has made a free test version (opens in new tab) available to users, and already I’m using it daily. For one thing, it actually works for me when signing in, which is a marked improvement from the official Mastodon app, and every part of Mammoth reminds me of the familiar layout of Twitter’s app.
You can also switch between your timeline and the server’s timeline, while checking on whether anyone has liked or ‘boosted’ (retweeted, in Mastodon terms) one of your posts.
As this is an app in development, you can’t properly post or send messages yet, but with the speed with which Mehboob develops his apps, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see these features working by the weekend.
Available on the Google Play Store (opens in new tab)Tusky is another app that allowed me to sign in normally, and as this is an app that’s been around on Android for much longer than Mammoth, you can post and send messages to other users without issue.
With a bunch of users flocking from Twitter to Mastodon the Tusky app has seen a lot of improvements lately, with bug fixes and the newly-added ability to look at user details, such as their likes or the date their account was created. You can also quickly crop an image for when you’re creating a post, or a ‘toot’ as it’s called in Mastodon.
There’s a toolbar at the top where you can switch between your activity, your server and your community, and you can press the ‘Compose’ icon to create a toot. Much like Mammoth, this gives a nice amount of familiarity for anyone who has been a regular user of the official Twitter app.
Overall, it’s a great app to use on Android for now, and it could give the developers of the official Mastodon app a desperately needed wake-up call to solve the glaring issues it has.