A whole lot of the Mastodon Android apps, tested
A lot of people liked my post All the Mastodon iPad apps, tested. Since Tootdon apparently sends user’s toots to their own servers for their advanced features, folks have been looking for an alternative, so I just downloaded way too many apps and tried them all! Here’s what I think about them.
A few notes:
- I usually logged into my mastodon.social account I don’t use anymore. Some apps didn’t like that instance for some reason so I used other instances for those. I also logged into my Twitter account on the apps that support it.
- When I mention “autofill” I mean the built-in password autofill Firefox has. It makes logging into an instance so much easier, especially if you have to log in on every single app 😁. Might not be as important to you, though.
- All apps have been tested on a LG G6 running LG’s version of Android N 7.0.
- The apps are roughly in the order they showed up in the Play Store when searching “Mastodon”
- I did not review Tootdon because I didn’t want to log into it, I also didn’t download any apps that only had Japanese descriptions on the Play Store, because I don’t know much Japanese and my list was already pretty long.
Mastalab tries to get you to enter your username and password on the first screen, which isn’t great, because it allows the app to grab your password directly instead of going the secure way using OAuth. There’s a way around that, though, just enter the instance name and then tap on the “two factor authentication?” link. This still isn’t running in one of those overlays though so no autofill from my Firefox password database.
EDIT: Since the app is open-source, this isn’t that much of a problem.
The app itself is pretty feature-packed, it supports all the latest and greatest features like custom emoji, image descriptions and lists. It also adds its own features like a yandex powered translate button, drafts, bookmarking toots and a nifty instance stats view and a lot more! Of course it supports multiple accounts, and it will even export a table with all your toots for you, which is a cool alternative to the now-built-in JSON export.
The amount of features and buttons on screen might be overwhelming at times but this is definitely one for the power users.
My personal favorite and daily driver is Tusky. It’s been around for a long while and even switched main devs so the development could go on. It’s also open-source.
Signing in uses the default browser so my password gets autofilled, the interface is pretty with all the material design goodness and gestures. It even has a light theme and will automatically switch between the two at sunrise/set if you want to!
It also supports custom emoji, image descriptions and lists, though you can’t enter custom emoji just yet (but soon!)
Please note that Tusky doesn’t do push notifications, but will simply check for notifications, the fastest setting being every 15 minutes. You might want to use another app if you need your notifications faster.
This app has a very compact interface which is also very modular, allowing for a custom column layout, of course also from multiple accounts. It can also show local timelines of instances you don’t even have an account on (using public data). My beloved autofill works here.
It has a ton of features and settings all of which would be too much to list, but I’d like to highlight it’s extensive filtering capabilities. Not only is it possible to control what’s being shown in each column, but it also supports muting words, apps, and favs/boosts from specific users. Folks with limited data (or just a really high-res camera) might like the automatic image resize, there’s a dark theme and a lot, lot, more.
The interface is confusing to me but I’m sure there’s folks who’d love this app! I love how it can show two colums in landscape view on my phone, and even more on a tablet.
Yeah, so this app has ads (which you can pay to remove), you can set every color separately and customize a lot of the behavior. The buttons are all too small to touch comfortably. Maybe skip this one.
Pawoo is the app to the pixiv instance of the same name, but it works for any Mastodon instance — theoretically. I couldn’t log into mastodon.social for some reason, I just got an error message with no details. For other instances it’s a nice, fast and very streamlined app. Check it out if you want something like Tusky, but slightly different and with less features, I guess?
This app supports Twitter, Gnu social, Pump.io and Mastodon, so it’s great if you want one app for all your Microblogging needs. Logging in is a lot more complicated than it should be and actually I couldn’t log in at all the first time I tried it. After force closing and reopening the app I managed to log into my account.
It supports multiple accounts across the multiple networks and will merge the timelines into one if you want to. There’s a bunch of settings for app behavior and appearance. Probably worth checking out if you want one feed for everything, but it’ll take some time to get used to the navigation.
Cosian supports multiple Mastodon and Twitter accounts. The interface is a bit non-standard but it’s got some nifty features, like a media view of the timeline. Sadly, the button ‘Timeline arrangement’ only triggers a message that the feature is planned for a future release. This might be another one for the folks who want both networks in one app, though it doesn’t support merging timelines.
Also: This app apparently automatically posted にやーん (nyaan, basically “meow”) on my account which is cute but still a big nope. Don’t post without my permission, app devs, k?
11t (read like “elephant”) is a simple no-frills Mastodon app. Not much to say about this one but I like how it looks. There’s some stuff missing like being able to view images fullscreen.
This is a relatively simple app, but with multi-user support, a dark and a light theme, plus it’s MIT licensed! Toots are displayed fairly compact, so this might be good for a small phone. The dark theme might also please users with an OLED display since the background color is simply black.
A very simple single-user app with somewhat customizable columns and a very pretty light design.
Logging ito TootyFruity doesn’t give me autofill, again. The app itself is very simple, only supports one account and has no settings at all. Looking nice, though.
Only shows the home timeline and allows for simple text toots without privacy settings or anything. Single-user. Trying hard not to make a joke about the name.
A fish-based name is something new! It showed an SSL error on mastodon.social but allowed me to log into another instance. Troutoss supports multiple accounts and will show all the columns from all the accounts at once. It’s easy to manage which columns show up and in which order, so if you wanna switch between instances the fastest way possible, this might be the app for you. Tapping on a toot will open it in your browser, so it’s hard to read and interact with conversations. Troutoss is MIT-licensed.
A pretty popular GPL-licensed third-party Twitter app which also supports Mastodon! Autofill doesn’t work. It has a nice interface and a ton of features and settings, though some require in-app-purchases. The amount of settings is a bit overwhelming but I really like this app. It even has a feature to send better notifications to my Pebble somehow?
Crashed constantly for me, so I couldn’t test it. It’s a Twidere fork.
Only allows logging into five different instances and crashed when I tried to log into Mastodon.social.
Crashes when switching to notification tab.
Let’s keep this short, here’s my recommendations based on the findings above:
Best daily driver and my favorite: Tusky
For power users: Subway Tooter or Mastalab
For using Twitter and Mastodon in one app: Twidere
Honorable mention: mastty
I’d like to thank all the developers for all these great apps, it’s great to have such a vast selection of different clients, and many of them are FOSS!
If you have any questions, corrections or proposals, feel free to comment or contact me on Mastodon!