Mastodon now has an official iPhone app

Mastodon now has an official iPhone app

Mastodon, the decentralized social network, now has an official iPhone app. Mastodon’s foundation has released an iOS app to complement an existing web version and a number of third-party apps for iOS, Android, and other platforms. The app is free and has a feature set similar to Mastodon’s main service, albeit it lacks Mastodon’s extensive local and federated timelines.

The app is aimed at attracting new users to Mastodon’s atypical social platform, according to Mastodon. Mastodon resembles Twitter in appearance, but instead of a single central network, it is constructed upon independently maintained communities (and the ActivityPub protocol). You can make an account in any community you want while also following and messaging individuals in other groups. It’s a unique design among modern social platforms, and having an official iOS entry point might make it easier for individuals to get started. CEO Eugen Rochko acknowledged plans for a similar Android app, but no release date has been set.

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Mastodon’s iOS app has polls and sensitive content filtering, and the app page mentions Mastodon’s “ad-free, chronological timeline,” which distinguishes it from larger services like Twitter. Local and federated timelines – Mastodon’s firehose of all public postings from your home community and the communities of people linked to it, respectively — aren’t included, as indicated above.

According to Rochko, the timelines were a “suboptimal” way to discover new information and removing them also decreased the risk of a clash with Apple, which has forced several social networks to limit what users can find through their apps. (For example, Reddit’s iOS app requires you to opt into NSFW content over the web.) You can continue to use one of the existing iOS applications — or simply check-in over the web — if you want a different feature set.

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