The desolate plains of the internet are strewn with the remains of many social networks that have made futile attempts to disrupt the hegemony of the “Big 5”. However, Mastodon, an Open Source upstart, seems to have enough about it to buck that unfortunate trend. Crafted in the image of Twitter, Mastodon technically isn’t one social network, but is actually a software platform that underpins a collection of independent servers or “instances”. The instances while independent, are able to talk to each other and are collectively referred to as the “Fediverse”.
Mastodon’s inherently open nature has led to a number of clients for it appearing on both of the major smartphone operating systems. In my humble opinion, the best of these is Amaroq. Named for a lupine figure from Inuit mythology, Amaroq is a phenomenally lightweight Open Source application that doesn’t skimp on features. Developed by John Gabelmann, the iOS exclusive app includes all of the basic functionality that is typically found in most Mastodon clients, such as: the ability to view home, local and federated timelines, emoji support, gif and video uploads and support for multiple instances. With the recent release of version 1.1.4, some rather nifty additional features were added such as: conversation muting, domain blocking and draft support.
Although using Amaroq makes for an enjoyable experience, I cannot help but feel that a couple of additions to its feature set would push it from being an app that is objectively good, to something that is truly great. Things such as a lack of support for the iOS share extension and support for multiple accounts on the same instance, are glaring omissions, and adding them would only serve to enhance the user experience. Nevertheless, Amaroq is a joy to use and is an ideal mobile companion for Mastodon.
Amaroq for Mastodon is available on iOS and can be downloaded from the App Store.