Hands-on: Tapbots officially launches ‘Ivory for Mastodon’ in collaboration with the Tweetbot foundation

Tapbots has officially released the first version of its highly anticipated “Ivory” client on the App Store, as Mastodon continues to gain traction. Ivory will be familiar to long-time Tweetbot users, but with a few Mastodon-specific features and enhancements.

Follow the link below for a detailed look at what Ivory has to offer, as well as what’s yet to come… and get it now from the App Store.

Hands-on: Ivory for Mastodon

When you first instal Ivory, you will be prompted to connect the app to your Mastodon account. This simply entails connecting to your Mastodon server and authenticating with your Mastodon account.

Long-time Tweetbot users will recognise Ivory’s design. The bottom navigation bar allows you to quickly access your Home feed and mentions. The next three slots are fully customizable and can display all of your notifications, search results, lists, favourites, bookmarks, overall activity stats, filters, or a quick link to your Mastodon profile.

You’ll see a familiar timeline of all the posts from Mastodon accounts you follow from the main Home feed view. You can interact with those posts directly from the Home feed by using the quick action buttons located just below each post, or by swiping left or right on the post. Swiping right allows you to quickly favourite or respond to a post, while swiping left takes you to the post’s “Detail” view.

Using the trumpet icon in the bottom-right corner, you can quickly compose your own Mastodon post. You can also use the search icon in the upper-right corner to search within the timeline.

You can switch to your “Local” timeline from the top of the Home feed, which displays all posts from accounts on your Mastodon instance. If you’re on the Mastodon.social instance, for example, the “Local” timeline will display all posts from other users on that instance.

You can also view the timeline in “Federated” mode. This timeline displays a broader feed of posts from your instance, people you follow, people you follow boost, and other sources. The Federated timeline’s implementation may differ slightly by app and instance, but expect it to include more posts and accounts than the “Federated” or Home feeds.

Entering Ivory’s “Settings” interface reveals a few customization options as well as the ability to add additional Mastodon accounts.

Customization options include the ability to change the font style, text size, and various interface elements. You can, for example, change the size of the aforementioned action buttons or even remove them entirely. You can also change the accent colours, as well as the sizes of the media thumbnail previews.

Swiping on posts in the timeline, dragging and dropping posts, customising tabs at the bottom, and other actions can also be customised. There are also Mastodon-specific settings, such as managing Mastodon’s “Sensitive Content” settings.

Ivory is a very impressive first version of Tapbots’ Mastodon client. Again, there are obvious similarities to Tweetbot, but with changes and features designed to fully utilise Mastodon’s benefits. Mastodon, for example, grants third-party developers access to polls, allowing you to vote on Mastodon polls (something that was never offered by the Twitter API for third-party developers).

Ivory also works well across multiple devices. Timeline syncing ensures that your timeline position is synchronised between Ivory on your iPhone and iPad. This also applies to any custom filters you’ve built.

It’s important to remember that this is the first version of Ivory. Tapbots has accelerated its plans to publicly release Ivory in light of Elon Musk’s cowardly decision to block third-party Twitter apps like Tweetbot. Having said that, Ivory has been remarkably stable and dependable in my testing of the app over the past month.

I’m especially curious to see what the release of Ivory means for Mastodon’s future growth. Some Mastodon sceptics have stated that the release of Ivory will cause them to reconsider the social network; the similarity between Ivory and Tapbots makes the transition easier and less jarring.

Ivory for Mastodon is now available on the App Store. To test the app, you can download it for free and access a fully functional demo; to unlock the full Ivory experience, subscription options include $1.99 per month or $14.99 per year. There is also a “Premier Subscriber” tier, which includes the same features as the Basic tier but exists to provide additional support for Tapbots.

Tapbots’ website contains a list of upcoming features for Ivory, as well as a clear roadmap of its goals for the coming months. The company is also working on a Mac version of Ivory, but it is still in the early stages of development.

  • Edit profile including displaying metadata
  • Edit Posts
  • Create content warning posts
  • Read alt/description text for media
  • Improved hashtags (search, following)
  • Support for custom instance emoji
  • Improved notifications tab (options and better filtering)
  • Improved tab (navigation) bar
  • Suppress duplicate boosted posts
  • If you’ve been thinking about joining Mastodon, today’s launch of Ivory is an excellent opportunity, especially if you were a Tweetbot user prior to its demise.

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