A (mini) overview of mastodon web clients

Mastodon is an open source project built on the ActivityPub protocol.

This allows anybody who has the will and skills to create independent web apps based on it and be as creative as they want, which frankly is pretty cool.

I prefer web apps over native Android apps because they are updated often, they are more accessible and font sizes can be adjusted easily, which is important to me because I like the comfort of being able to read without eye strain, so I always set slighly larger fonts than the default.

The fact that these projects exist is a testament to the power and potential of ActivityPub, and the quality of all the available Mastodon web apps I’ve tried blow Twitter web app away when it comes to accessibility, usability, and beauty.

Here we go!

Official Mastodon Web App

You can find the official Mastodon client at your instance URL.

Mastodon web client

This is the official app, so you can be sure it has all new features as they are released. I like it a lot on desktop.

Since this web app currently lacks font settings and it has a lot going on, I don’t use it too much on mobile.

Mastodon web client mobile

Semaphore

(https://semaphore.social)

Semaphore web client

Semaphore doesn’t have all the features available in the official app (example: no post editing) but it’s blazing fast and the interface is super clean and minimal; currently this is my favourite Mastodon web app on mobile, while on desktop I prefer the official app or Elk.

Semaphore web client mobile

Phanpy

(https://phanpy.social)

Phanpy web client

Really pretty to look at with nice animations, colors, gradients, scalable fonts, etc. The only small “issue” I found is that it needs one click too many clicks (especially on desktop) to reach pages that should be readily available. You also need to click on a post to add a star or boost.

What’s cool is that it allows you to add a shortcut to follow everything going on on specific instances, which is nice.

Phanpy web client

Mastodeck

(https://mastodeck.com)

Mastodeck web client

Mastodon reminds of Tweetdeck, it can be messy but maybe this is what you are looking for if you want to be able to see many things at a glance.

It lets you add any number of columns to follow lists or posts from specific instances, which is nice.

One minor issue I noticed is that when font size is increased to “extra large” the overall look could be improved.

Mastodeck web client mobile

Elk

(https://elk.zone)

Elk web client

It doesn’t revolutionize Mastodon, but it gives it a fresh clean look and keeps all Mastodon features like editing posts. It’s been growing on me lately, so I find myself using it more and more especially on desktop, since it has exceptional font size handling and many well-being settings.

On mobile on the other hand, I don’t use it just because it doesn’t have a direct link to my local instance in the navbar, so I need to click on the dots and select the local timeline, for some reason the extra click turns me off.

Elk web client mobile

Statuzer

(https://statuzer.com/)

Statuzer web client

Similar to Mastodeck, it allows you to see many things at once. It has a funny cool feature that lets you play the “radio” for all youtube videos posted on an instance, pretty cool.

Overall it feels a bit messy but that’s the way it is with “deck” style interfaces.

Statuzer web client mobile

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