After Twitter decided to unceremoniously ban all third-party apps, a developer who was on the receiving end of this decision has taken what it learned from its own Twitter app, and created a dedicated client for Mastodon on iPhone and iPad called Ivory.
Developed by Tapbots, consisting of Paul Haddad (opens in new tab) and Mark Jadine (opens in new tab), Ivory looks reminiscent of Tweetbot, its previous third-party app for Twitter, but looks and feels much more polished than other attempts at Mastodon apps we’ve seen in recent months.
It’s available for $1.99 / £1.99 / AU$2.39 (opens in new tab) as a monthly subscription, or $19.99 / £14.99 / AU$21.99 for a year, but you can sign up for a 7-day trial to see what you think.
Apps such as Mammoth, and Mastodon’s own app, have been fine, but Tapbots has its own style, which has been carried across all of its apps, such as Calcbot and Pastebot, and it’s for this reason that Ivory has become my default Mastodon app (opens in new tab) for the foreseeable.
Tweetbot died so Ivory could live
If you’ve used Tweetbot before, Ivory will feel very familiar to you; but even if you haven’t, it’s laid out like a Twitter app, so someone coming to Mastodon as a new user will feel at home. You’ve got a bar for notifications, mentions, search and your profile, but you can customize three of these if you want easier access for filters, favorite toots and more.
There are plenty more ways to make Ivory your own, such as by changing themes and color styles, alongside many different icons, including one that honors Tweetbot. You can make the app your own with all of these options, which should appeal to someone moving over from Twitter to Mastodon.
There are also plenty of widgets that you can place on your iPhone and iPad home screens, so you can display your latest followers, images from your timeline, statistics and much more. Every one of these widgets is well implemented, and they make a strong case that they should appear on macOS soon.
There’s also a smart ‘Open in Ivory’ extension in Safari for when someone sends you a link to Mastodon over iMessage or WhatsApp for example, so Ivory will be able to open the toot within Mastodon, saving you the trouble.
For a version 1.0 release, there’s plenty to enjoy here if you’re on Mastodon, but it’s not a surprise. Tapbots has taken what it learned from Tweetbot and carried that into Ivory, and it shows. It feels as though Ivory has set a standard for other third-party apps to aspire to, and shown the way forward for developers – that is, by focusing on their own style, rather than trying to adapt to Mastodon as they go.
It’s an impressive release that’s already on my iPhone and iPad – and I’d love to see a macOS version next.