Sunday, February 12, 2023

Mastodon Clients

​I prefer most of my interactions with Mastodon to be from my phone, so I concentrate my application choices for that platform. I do occasionally use an iPad or macOS machine to get to Mastodon, so preference is given to applications with a macOS option.

Mastodon applications are recent and development has been extremely active, and not yet complete. It is worth selecting showing recent updates. Perhaps avoid choosing an application with no updates for over a year.

Features I am looking for in a client

  • Editing is available
  • easy to view alt text on images
  • easy to add alt tags for pictures
  • long-click to save image
  • edit one of your posts
  • bookmark a post
  • share a post

A web browser will work as a client for Mastodon. This works for iOS, macOS, iPadOS. You can view more information about a mastodon instance by adding 'about' to the end of the URL, such as with A browser will also work to follow tags without an account, such as with a tag of 'GardenChat'

  • Can do almost everything from the web client.

 Ice Cubes ( 1.4.7 12Feb2023)

New user experience is basic. Opens to 'Add account' screen in the 'Instance URL' field with a 'Suggestions field below, containing possible instances. There isn't more help in the app with what to do next. It works OK, if you know what you are supposed to do at this point, or if you already have an account.

iPad and iPhone versions of the App. There is limited support on macOS machines running the iPad app on macOS. There is a repository for this software project.

  • Editing is available
  • easy to view alt text on images
  • long-click to save image ( works some of the time for me )
  • press three dots to edit one of your posts
  • bookmark a post
  • share a post
  • easy to add alt tags for pictures, click on a picture and 'Add description'
  • See an indication of conversations

Ivory for Mastodon (1.0.2 7Feb2023)

New user experience is welcoming. Opens to a screen welcoming you. There is an up arrow to get to the next screen, where it wants an instance name, however a question is asked about whether you already have an account or not. If you don't have an account you are sent off the and

If you do already have an account you enter the account and press the Continue button.

iPad and iPhone versions of the App

  • Profile edit is available within the application.
  • Translation available with downloaded languages. Select text in post, then translate is an option. Can open in the translate app.
  • click image to save
  • MISSING - view alt-text on photos (can't find it, or it isn't there?)
  • MISSING - Edit a post (can't find it, or it isn't there?)

Toot! for Mastodon (19.0 8Feb2023)

Opens to a Welcome to Mastodon! screen. There is a lot of small text, but it tries to get you to a next step. There is a watch the video link taking you to a YouTube video 'What is Mastodon' The video tries to explain how everything works. There is then a 'Choose a Server' text button which takes you to a screen with a field to enter an server instance address and another field where you can ask to see some random server, which you can then use to enter as a server.

iPad and iPhone versions of the App

  • Excellent indication of conversations
  • click on an image to see alt-text, swipe up to make it go away. no indication on the picture that alt-text is present
  • edit is available from three dots, or 'more' text button
  • long press to save an image
  • share a post using the 'more…' button
  • easy to add alt-text, can also adjust attention-point of a picture

What to do with Mastodon and how to do it

​Many new mastodon users migrated from twitter recently. This made me think back to what I used to use twitter for when twitter first started and third-party twitter apps started to appear. There were ups and downs then.

There will be ups and downs with Mastodon.

Things to do with Mastodon 

Go to a conference, convention, show and comment with others about what you see. Hashtags is a convenient way to do this. #WiGardenExpo and #GardenChat is what I picked to try out going to a Garden Expo and commenting about a few things I saw.

It was best to have a bit of text and a picture for places I stopped. I was attending with a couple of other people, so I didn’t have unlimited time for each stop.

I wanted to make sure there were alt tags for pictures. I sometimes forgot to add tags for a posting, so being able to edit a posting was a welcome option. I wasn’t able to figure out how to edit from every app I tried.

The client applications are young, and have frequent updates, so if a feature isn’t currently available it may show up in a future update.

I could post pictures by selecting from my local album. I like to also be able to copy a picture and paste it into a posting. One of the applications I was using had a temporary bug, where it pasted a link to the picture on the local device, instead of an actual picture. I believe that has been fixed now. As I said, the applications are not yet mature, there will be changes.

I will add more on specific applications. I need to have separate lists for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, Web Browser.

I tend to do most of my mastodon posting and reading from iOS, as that is the device I have with me.