Amethyst is bringing the power of Nostr to Android users

Amethyst, a new social media app for Android, has been launched on the Google Play Store, allowing Android users to easily access the decentralized Nostr network from their mobile devices. This app is a welcome addition to the Nostr ecosystem, as it opens up the network to the huge market of Android users across the globe.

Amethyst is built on top of the decentralized social network, Nostr, which is different from traditional social networks in that it is a network of thousands of users who post to each other’s relay servers allowing for seamless interactions between users. This decentralization means that there are no single points of failure thus making the network more resilient to censorship and outages.

The release of Amethyst on the Google Play Store is a significant step forward for the decentralized social network and its users. It allows for easy access to the platform and its features while making it more accessible to a wider audience. With the growing concerns over privacy and data security on traditional social networks, Amethyst’s use of the decentralized network offers an attractive alternative for users who want more control over their online presence.

Amethyst Is Feature Rich

The app is made with Kotlin and Jetpack Compose and features a wide range of features. It has everything basic you’d expect like account management, a home feed with thread messages, notifications feed, global feed, reactions (like, boost, reply), image preview (gifs, svgs), user profiles (follow/unfollow), profile editing, private messaging using NIP-04 and the ability to edit your relays. The app’s smooth and fluent design sets it apart from other Nostr clients, which can often be slow and laggy.

Off basic features alone the app is worth the download for Android users to be able to access the decentralized network with a nice user interface. The app’s smooth and fluent design sets it apart from other Nostr clients, which can often be slow and laggy. Amethyst has also launched to the Play Store with a group of features that few other clients have been able to integrate yet. Let’s take a look at some of the key features that sets Amethyst a step ahead of the field.

Imgur Picture Uploads

One of the most notable features of Amethyst is the ability to upload images natively, eliminating the need to go to another website to upload an image and then copy a link of your upload to use in the app. Amethyst utilizes the imgur image hosting service allowing users to search their phones for pictures and instantly have the link loaded into their post. This feature makes the app much more user-friendly and eliminates an unnecessary step that lots of other clients have yet to address.

Public Chat Rooms

NIP-28 allows Amethyst users to create and participate in public chat channels, similar to Telegram Channels, where they can send and reply to other messages in rooms that are similar to Telegram Channels, and set metadata for the channel, such as a name and a description. Additionally, Amethyst includes basic client-side moderation features that allow users to hide or mute other users’ messages, giving them more control over the content they see in the chat channels. Overall, Amethyst is a powerful tool for those who want to use the Nostr protocol and its public chat channels in an easy-to-use and user-friendly way, on a mobile device.

Support for Nostr Links

Amethyst features support for NIP-21 that aims to standardize the usage of a common URL scheme for maximum interoperability and openness in the network. This standard is based on the nostr: scheme, where the identifiers that come after are expected to be the same as those defined in NIP-19. The inclusion of NIP-21 in Amethyst, an Android app, will allow users to open nostr: based links directly into the app.

Rich link previews allow users to see a preview of the linked content, such as a title, image, and description, directly within the app interface, rather than having to click on the link and leave the app. This feature provides a more seamless and convenient experience for users, as they can quickly and easily see what the linked content is without having to leave the conversation. Additionally, it also allows for a better user engagement as user can easily understand the context and take action accordingly. Amethyst’s implementation of rich link previews is based on the Open Graph Protocol (OGP), which is a set of meta tags that can be added to web pages to provide structured information about the content, such as the title, description, and image. By using OGP, Amethyst can automatically extract this information and display it in the rich link preview.

Getting Started

To use Amethyst, users simply need to download the app, insert their Nostr private key and start posting. That’s it! You may want to find other users to follow, like me, who you can find just by searching using the magnifying glass at the bottom. That’s also where you’ll find the general feed where content will flow into your app.

Amethyst is already feature rich but it’s not complete yet. I’ve experienced a number of app crashes on the launch version of the app. I’m not at all worried about it’s development though. Vitor Pamplona, Amethyst’s lead developer, has pushed out updates nearly every day since I started following the project 2 weeks ago with their v0.1 launch.

Amethyst already lists a number of features that are planned for development like notification bubbles, infinity scroll on feeds, NIP-05 identity verification, NIP-09 event deletion and a direct account creation and backup solution. I’m sure there will be plenty more for them to add as nostr devs continue to push upgrades to the network.

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