Bluesky gets its first third-party mobile app with Greysky, launching later this month

Bluesky gets its first third-party mobile app with Greysky, launching later this month

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Jack Dorsey-backed Twitter alternative Bluesky is getting its first third-party app for mobile users: a new app called Graysky. Although several Bluesky projects built on the company’s API are already in the works or in testing, Bluesky will be the first to ship to the App Store, where it is now available for pre-order with a launch date of October 21st. It will also come on Android. The app promises a better Bluesky experience with additional features like support for GIFs, inline translation, an easier way to see everyone’s likes, a feed-first layout, hashtag support, and more.

Created by London-based software engineer Samuel Newman ( on Bluesky), the idea to create a Bluesky client was not initially motivated by the company’s interest in the decentralized networking protocol, AT Protocol, which would eventually allow Bluesky to operate on Bluesky. Like Mastodon where people can set up their own servers that interconnect.

Rather, Newman explains, Bluesky was attractive because it is simply a better Twitter.

His excitement over the new social network led him to start building a third-party client as a fun side project. But then they realized that Bluesky lacked support for various features that their app could support. For example, Bluesky had not introduced support for viewing your own preferences at the time, so this was an early focus for Graysky and it gained a following as users clamored for early access.

Although BlueSky has now shipped support for likes on users’ profiles, GraySky aims to stay a step ahead of the official app by supporting features that BlueSky doesn’t. For example, Graysky lets you see everyone’s likes, not just yours – similar to Twitter/X. It will also support the ability to send GIFs powered by Tenor that are backward compatible with the official app, and support inline translation within threads.

To differentiate itself from Bluesky beyond feature set alone, Graysky sports a unique user interface where, instead of landing you on your home timeline (or skyline in Bluesky parlance), the main tab directs you to your set of feeds. Will do.

Image Credit: greysky

One of the main differences between BlueSky and Twitter/X is its support for algorithmic choice through custom feeds. This means that instead of defaulting to an algorithmically “for you” timeline, Bluesky users can subscribe to custom feeds created by the company or other developers that somehow filter posts on the network.

For example, Bluesky itself offers feeds like the “What’s Hot” feed of popular posts and its older version, “What’s Hot Classic,” as well as feeds showing posts from your “Mutuals,” the Bluesky team, and others. .

Others have created custom feeds based on themes or interests, such as pictures of cute animals, tech news, gardening, books, astronomy, or even adult content. There are also feeds that let you filter your timeline in different ways, such as seeing posts that are popular among friends or that only display your @mentions.

In Graysky, you start by going straight to the feed of your choice from its main tab. And if you’re looking for more feeds to follow, a search interface lets you browse all the feeds created by others.

The app also has a search interface to surface users, posts, and feeds, unlike Bluesky’s mobile app, which only supports searching for users and posts.

Other Graysky tabs let you write a post (where it offers better alt text editing for attached images), access your notifications, and view your profile.

Image Credit: greysky

From the app’s main menu, you can keep track of your invite code, change the app’s theme to light or dark mode, and adjust other settings related to your account, handles, your moderation, and Home Feed preferences – Such as how much adult or violent content you don’t mind seeing or want to see posted again – your muted users, and much more.

Although Newman was not originally inspired to create Gresky because of the AT protocol, he now sees the appeal of something that is more open-ended and email-like.

“It’s really interesting,” he says. “It bypasses a lot of the problems that Twitter is having, you know, in terms of megalomania in charge and moderation as well.” Plus, he says, the decentralization aspect will allow users to move “into obscurity rather than outright banning troublesome users, which I think is a better way to run something that’s supposed to be like a public square.” Is,” Newman says.

Although Graysky’s feature set is somewhat limited at launch, the app’s planned roadmap is much more extensive.

In the future, Newman plans to add support for drafts, bookmarks, automatically generated alt text, muted words, polls, notifications, more home feed preferences, better content filters, tagging posts and lists with language or content warnings. Is planning. The latter is a much-sought-after feature for those who used to enjoy being able to curate groups of people on Twitter/X, but no longer have access to the same functionality on BlueSky.

Although Graysky was largely created by Newman, he credits others for helping with the project, including Bluesky users (Alice), (Holden Foreman), and Ahead of its planned October 21 launch date, Graysky was tested by more than 4,000 users.

The iOS version of the Graysky app is now available for pre-order on the App Store and an Android version will also be made available.

The app will be free to use with no in-app purchases for the time being, but in the future, Newman is planning a ~£3.99 per month (just under $5 USD) subscription service for polls and a post analytics service Which shows how your posts perform over time with a graph. In the meantime, you can support development by sponsoring Newman on GitHub.


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