Mastodon is a relatively new social media service, but I’ve grown to like it quite a bit. Of course, any new service these days will need good apps if it’s going to get anywhere. Thankfully, the iOS apps are getting pretty good.

If you need a primer on Mastodon, how it works, or why I think it’s important, I wrote a simple, plain-language overview of Mastodon’s mission and advantages. I also maintain a Dropmark collection of Mastodon guides, links, tips, and tools. But if you want my elevator pitch: Mastodon is a social network run by and for its users. “Community-owned and ad-free,” says the landing page.

You can post all the typical stuff publicly or keep it private to your followers. There is no advertising or tracking, and none of the insidious, destructive incentives that come with it. There is also no central company to ruin things, and it has a growing, open API that welcomes apps and even other services.

I’m on Mastodon at toot.cafe/@chartier. And speaking of apps, let’s get to them.

Mast for iPhone [Update: now also iPad]

Mast launched just last week and has the best design in my opinion. It supports all the big features I can think of, including Direct Messages and Content Warnings to hide spoilers and sensitive posts. It also has an impressive amount of customization such as long-press gestures, themes, always displaying all sensitive content, and lots of other good stuff.

One caveat though: Mast can be a little buggy at times, though its developer has been quick with bug fixes and responses. Also, an iPad version just entered beta testing.

Update: The iPad version has left beta and is now included with the iPhone version.

Toot for iPad and iPhone

I helped test Toot in beta for a while before it too launched last week. Toot also supports all the main features I can think of and takes a more whimsical approach to its interface. There are subtle and less subtle animations in various places. Toot also has a unique wheel on the right of the tab bar for switching between accounts and instances—basically, different communities of Mastodon users.

Tootdon for iPad and iPhone

Probably the most traditional in terms of interface, Tootdon is also a full-featured Mastodon app with a unique approach. Its UI is in the ballpark of Twitterrific and it has a good amount of customizability. But Tootdon is also good for exploring a little bit of what’s going on across the “fediverse”—other instances, hashtags, and users you might not otherwise see in your normal feed and searches.

It’s worth noting that there are plenty of other iOS apps for Mastodon available, but I haven’t tried them all. At the least, I think it’s great to see a service embrace an open API and a community starting to mature around it.

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