Greg Morris

Gluon: My Perfect Micro.blog Companion

This app is niche. It only works for micro.blog so all of these words I write will only be applicable to a tiny section of readers – but that doesn’t stop this app being great. It really is the perfect micro.blog app and adds in lots of little features to make the experience much better.

Developed by Vincent Ritter, one of the developers working on the micro.blog platform, Gluon ads on top of the service in so many useful ways. He uses his opinionated but thoughtful skills to craft a whole range of services, such as Sublime adds and Shoutouts, meaning Gluon is no exception.

What Vincent has done is add in features that really help users of micro.blog out. By listening to the community, he’s able to not only work on the service as a whole, but also build an app to service its users. Features such as customising the way the timeline looks with colours and fonts used mean that you can really make the app yours.

Two big features really stand out though. Gluon adds in the ability to mute keywords and I couldn’t be happier. I have struggled with the option to filter out things, particularly American politics, right from the start. An issue that was further exacerbated by being able to follow Mastodon accounts. With Gluon, there’s no more politics in my timeline, nor endless posts about Twitter. Whatever it is that you would rather not see, Gluon powerfully filters out these posts and makes it a much better place to be.

Secondly, Gluon can reply to all. You don’t realise you even need this option until you are involved in an interesting discussion. You are stuck going backwards and forwards copying usernames, whereas Gluon does it all for you. With the added option of removing people from the reply. Sounds so simple doesn’t it, but it’s so helpful.

Gluon also has all the expected features like the official app, but with much more customisation. The controls and navigation of the apps are intuitive and well thought through. The simple interface allows you to reply or see the conversation by swiping the post, and four tabs at the bottom get you to the places you need to go.

There’s something about Gluon that I really enjoy using, and although the 3.0 update of the official app looks great, Vincent’s app seems to be constantly improving. It makes the micro.blog experience much better for me, and I really appreciate its development.

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