Mastodon decentralized social network now has an official iPhone app. The nonprofit behind Mastodon launched the app on July 30 on iOS, supplementing an existing web version for iOS, Android, and other platforms and a similar 3rd party app. It is a free app and features are similar to Mastodon’s core service, but it does not include Mastodon’s federated timelines and broad local.
Mastodon differs from social networks like Twitter and Facebook in that there is no central place for users to interact with each other. Instead, the users can build separate communities devoted to specific locations, certain interests, etc. The users can switch between communities without creating multiple accounts and interact with other communities. There is an open API that helps in creating independent clients for its platform. In February, the company said that the absence of an official app made it difficult for users to understand how to participate in the decentralized social network. So it started to develop an iOS client.
The company describes the app as particularly for getting new users on board the nontraditional social platform. Mastodon is built around independently run communities rather than a single central network. In the community of their choice users can create accounts while messaging and following people in other communities. Among modern social platforms, its design is unusual. Offering an official iOS entry point could help users ease into it more smoothly. A comparable Android app plan is coming up but no timeline is mentioned and this is confirmed by CEO Eugen Rochko.
Mastodon’s iOS app supports features like sensitive content filters and polls. The app page subtly highlights its differences with bigger giants by mentioning Mastodon’s “ad-free, chronological timeline.” Eugen said, to discover new content, those timelines were a “suboptimal” way and excluding them also reduces the chance of conflict with Apple. Users can keep using one of the existing iOS apps or log in through the web for a different feature set.