Little secret about Mastodon: the third party unofficial apps are really good!
Because they've been around a lot longer, the third party apps have more features than the official apps.
You can see links to the third party apps listed underneath the official app links on the Mastodon website, just scroll down the page a bit:
Also, most of the unofficial apps (such as Metatext, Fedilab and Tusky) are open source so outsiders can see exactly what they do and how they work. This makes them just as safe to use as the official apps.
If you haven't tried the third party apps yet, it's well worth giving them a go.
p.s. And to make clear, third party apps on Mastodon have just as much access to the platform's features as the official apps.
Twitter restricts what third party apps can do, in order to promote their own app.
Mastodon does NOT restrict what third party apps can do, in fact it's practically impossible for Mastodon to ever have such restrictions because it's an open platform.
Fedilab and Tusky are the two main ones for Android, they have been around for years and the creators are very well respected on here.
When I was on identi.ca, I naturally gravitated towards contributing to the client I was using and ended up pushing some features. The main one being OAuth support.
When G+ launched, I was checking it out, was dissatisfied with the available clients, and looked into writing my own. G+ had an invasive EULA for API use, demanding, among other things, that you implement a feature to delete client data on demand. I didn't write a client.
@feditips Just a note, FediLab doesn't seem to work for weirder.earth. It won't even accept it as a valid instance. I tooted to the developer about ten days ago but there's been no answer.
This might be connected to weirder.earth using the hometown fork of Masto?
If it is, the bug is possibly being worked on:
@feditips I'm really happy with Subway Tooter with its flexible and convenient column management (think tweetdeck from the desktop, just better).
I'm not one of the Masto developers. You would have to contact them about that.
If you want you can submit it as an issue in the joinmastodon github?
@feditips none of the apps give me a federated view, but the web site does. Not sure why the apps don't have it. ✌️💚🐘
Click on the logo in the bottom right corner (the one you can use to switch accounts if you have multiple logins) and then click on the bar at the top of the screen to choose Local or Federated timelines.
One caveat: the customizability might be a barrier to new users! There are *many* options and the interface doesn't make it easy to share settings between tabs, e.g. user-defined colors. But that's the app's only drawback from my perspective. Functionally it is rock solid for my needs.
@feditips Sometimes the mobile website is better than any of those apps, especially when your instance is heavily modified. Those apps won't be able to have all those modifications. :)
@feditips It also helps that Mastodon and friends work on an open protocol - Twitter's API used to be fully capable of performing the same actions you could on the web/official apps, but over time that stopped.
That, and the user limits. It was sad to see the apps I liked being forced into the sunset because Twitter wouldn't allow any new users to use those apps :(
And (AFAIK) there's no practical way that Mastodon could ever close its API either, so it's protected against Twitter-like scenarios.
By the way, when the Twitter API was originally closed to third parties, a lot of new people joined Mastodon and the Fediverse. So, I think it does mean a lot to people that they can use whichever app they want to access a platform, or even make one themselves.
@feditips Absolutely! One of my first projects I created when I got into software development was a Twitter desktop client, and now the memory of that project is still a bit of a sore spot, knowing that it could never be a replacement for the first party Twitter web/mobile apps.
Just want to give a quick recommendation for Tusky on Android and Metatext on iOS, two really great apps and a joy to use!
@feditips when I tried mastonaut, I read a bit and then shut down the app. When I reopened it it was at the top of my timeline rather than at the last read toot. On mobile, Metatext will remember where I was and prompt me to load more recent toots if necessary.
Hmm... I am not sure. The desktop apps are all free (except Mast) so I would suggest trying them to see how they behave.
Sorry I can't be more help, I tend to use Masto through the website on desktop (and I don't have a Mac to test Mac apps like Mast).