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10 best mastodon apps that work with other federated social media
Mastodon is a unique social media experience. It’s a series of servers that all work together to bring you the whole experience. Each part of Mastodon is its own instance, entirely separate from other instances, but still part of the whole. It’s definitely something different. The premise is young, but there are some decent apps to get you online. Here are the best Mastodon apps for Android. Most of these work with other federated social networks like Plemora, Pixelfed, Peertube, Friendica, and others.
It’s worth noting that Mastodon is reasonably new in the social media space and has only just begun generating momentum thanks to the Twitter controversies here lately. The apps here are definitely not as polished as third-party Twitter or Reddit apps.
The best Mastodon apps for Android
AndStatus is a free and open-source app. It supports Mastodon, Twitter, ActivityPub, GNU Social, and Pump.io. It has a rather basic UI, but it’s more than good enough to view and post stuff across any of those networks. The app also features a unified timeline where you can see posts from all those places in one spot. Some other features include a conversation view, a global search that searches all the networks you’re signed into, and the ability to back up and restore your data.
The app can be a bit clunky at times, and there’s a bit of a learning curve to it. We think this one could use more polish. It’s functional, but a dedicated Mastodon client would probably serve you better.
Fedi (not to be confused with Fedilab) is a Plemora and Mastodon client. It’s another simple client with enough features to interact with instances without too much trouble. The features include emoji reaction support, push notifications, the ability to upload almost any type of media file, multi-account support, and DM support. This one is very much still a work in progress with it only just recently getting stuff like a dark mode. However, there is enough potential here to recommend it to people.
Fedilab is a solid client for Mastodon, Plemora, Peertube, GNU Social, and Friendica. It’s one of the cleaner clients with a good UI and decent support. Some of the features include multi-account support, post scheduling, message bookmarking, a translation feature, and the ability to sort timeline by stuff like video. It is an open source application and you can see the code here if you want to. There are some reports of bugs here and there, but nothing serious.
Husky for Plemora
Husky for Plemora is a lightweight user client for Plemora, Mastodon, and anything else that uses Mastodon’s API. It works for Mastodon, but does include some extra features specifically for Plemora. It includes a clean UI, most of the basic functions, and it’s open source. There are some small things we’d like to see. For instance, at the time of this writing, Husky doesn’t open Mastodon links by default. Other than small issues like that, it worked rather well, especially if you use both Plemora and Mastodon.
Indigenous is a bit of a wild card for our Mastodon apps list. It’s relatively new and hasn’t seen a lot of downloads just yet. However, it seems to have a good set of features. They include multi-account support, all of the basic posting features, draft saving support, multiple image upload, and you can even send your location if you want to. The UI is clean with Material Design and all of the login options we tried worked. There are bugs without a doubt, so here’s hoping the developer keeps up with fixes.
See also: The best Twitter apps for Android
Subway Tooter is one of the up and coming Mastodon apps. The app supports multiple accounts and a variety of settings. The UI isn’t the prettiest and there is a bit of a learning curve. However, it supports most of the features you would need for Mastodon. The best part is the ability to switch between instances by simply swiping from one column to the next. You can also customize columns to show things like hashtags, blocked users, and other stuff. Again, there is a learning curve and it’s not the best looking, but it works pretty well.
Tusky for Mastodon
Tusky is one of the most popular Mastodon apps. It includes a clean UI, support for most media file types, custom emoji, a dark theme, a drafts feature, and even uses Material Design guidelines. It’s one of the first Mastodon apps people try, and many stick with it. There are a lot of complaints about some Mastodon instances not being available because the developer doesn’t like them. I didn’t run into any of those during my testing, but it’s something people seem to really not like about the app.
This is, in my estimation, the best Mastodon app on the Play Store right now. It gets the most development and seems to have the most features, along with the best UI. There is a nightly version (Google Play link) by a different developer if you want to live on the bleeding edge.
See also: The best Reddit apps for Android
Price: Free / Up to $1.99
Twidere is one of the best Twitter clients and it just so happens to also support Mastodon. The app has a clean, Material Design UI, the ability to schedule posts, support for most media file types, and more. It works better for Twitter than it does for Mastodon. Thus, it’s a better choice for folks who use Twitter a bit more heavily and just want to dip their toes into Mastodon to see what it’s like. The developer has a habit of releasing updates that break things, but when it works, it works quite well.
Yuito is a fork of Tusky. It looks, acts, and feels the same in most instances. The app includes a clean UI, a streaming function for each timeline, a restricted mode for mobile networks to avoid data usage, and a few minor changes from the main Tusky app. The Google Play page is in Japanese, but the app is in English so you don’t have anything to worry about. It also supports Pixelfed, Plemora, and any other network that uses Mastodon’s API.
Bonus: Mastodon apps on F-Droid
F-Droid is a popular third party app store mostly for power users. Everything there is open source and it’s home to a few decent Mastodon apps that you can’t find in Google Play. They include MouseApp, Twitlatte (linked at the button), Husky, Librem Social (a fork of Tusky). MouseApp in particular is pretty good if you have needs that exist outside of the norm. You have to download F-Droid and install it, then search for these apps and install them from there.
If we missed any great Mastodon apps, tell us about them in the comments. You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.
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