Most parts of the following article are obsolete by now. Twidere supports most of GNUsocials features.


Using GNUsocial with Twidere on Android

A while ago I decided to move some of my accounts from Twitter to GNUsocial. By reasons I still run some Twitter Accounts. While there are really good native apps for either Twitter (Twitter App) or GNUsocial (AndStatus) I needed an app that was covering both worlds properly.

Twidere - originally build as a Twitter client - is thanks to the compatible GNUsocial API and the Twidere maintainers able to work with both social networks. While setting up a Twitter account is quite intuitive, it took me a while to set up my GNUsocial accounts.

Requirements

To setup your mobile device to work with GNUsocial you will need an android device. Actually every device that is able to run .apk files might also do the job. I have not tested this but requirement-wise Sailfish OS might work as well. You will not need either Google Play Store or F-Droid.

You will definitely need a GNUsocial-Account. Before you start to register an account somewhere you might want to take a look at the decentralized concept of federated social networks. It might still make sense to register an account on the same server where all your friends are because some features (e.g. direct messages, groups) might not work between different instances. I will not promote a special server here. Just find one that suits your needs. If you still do not know where to start try this list.

The last requirement is obviously Twidere (version 2.9.12 only!!!). By the day of publishing this article later versions of Twidere (e.g. version 3.0) are due to a Twitter API change unable to post new messages to GNUsocial. If you are using F-Droid or Google Play Store make sure you prohibit both from automatically updating Twidere to newer versions.

How to

The following setup guide will use quitter.se as an example. Make sure you are replacing “quitter.se” by the domain of your favourite GNUsocial server.

Assuming Twidere is running and your GNUsocial account is registered properly — here is what it takes to use GNUsocial with Twidere:

Top part of Twidere’s “add account” screen

Before you start entering your account details (user & password) make sure you hit the server icon (yellow spot in the screenshot) next to the planet icon on the top right corner of the Twidere display.

This is the place to switch from http://twitter.com/ to your favorite GNUsocial server.

Fill in your REST BASIS URL. To get this you can either ask the webmaster of your GNUsocial instance or you can check the FAQ. I assume most of the times it will follow the scheme of quitter.se in the picture which is https://your.gnu.social/api/

Also make sure to switch from OAuth to simple (Einfach) for the time being. In version 2.9.12 Twidere I was not able to connect to GNUsocial via OAuth. Hopefully this feature will be implemented soon.

Features

Using Twidere (version 2.9.12) you will be able to use the following features of your GNUsocial-Account:

  • read your timeline
  • post text messages
  • reply messages
  • favourite/like messages
  • discover accounts (including your own & federated)
  • send/receive direct messages
  • mute/filter

The following features are not working:

  • autopreview images in your Timeline
  • attach images/photos directly
  • shorten links automatically
  • search
  • group features
  • hashtag features
  • edit account details (e.g. nick, avatar, …)
  • discover all messages send by an account
  • follow/unfollow
  • crosspost (aka citation aka RT) from and to Twitter-accounts (workaround: copy messages manually and paste as a new message)

Conclusion

While Andstatus is also able to work with Twitter it is usage- and design-wise still no alternative for me. If you prefer your client to support GNUsocial with all features it still might be the best solution for you.

Twidere is doing a good job providing basic functions of GNUsocial under a flexible, intuitive and multi-account-orientated user-interface which at least for me is all I need on my Android client. As far as you can live without the ability to post new messages even the latest version of Twidere would be an options for you. You would still be able to reply, fav, retweet and read your timeline.

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