A mobile client for Pinboard

A mobile client for Pinboard. Abandoned since 2021.

Code available: fontawesome/brands/github mrled/lightmarks

I needed a first-class mobile experience, and decided to write one myself. Abandoned after I discovered Pins, which I still use and recommend today.

I saved several screenshots and videos for posterity, though.

A screenshot of Lightmarks running on the iPhone simulator


The mobile client space in 2020 and the first part of 2021 was absolutely dire. The best clients had been broken in obvious ways for years, and using Pinboard was becoming worse and worse. When I began to rely on the Pinboard bookmarklet, I decided to write my own client.

Nine months later, Ahn Do had both started and released Pins, which has been a first-class Pinboard client for iOS since 1.0. I’m truly impressed with how quickly he was able to make Pins, and how solid it is. At that point, I stopped development of Lightmarks.

React Native

React Native development was very frustrating. It has all of the downsides of working with CSS, except there are more quirks, and the documentation is worse. The tooling is also very hit or miss – on the one hand, it has very fast hot reloading, which is just obscenely good. On the other hand, sometimes when something isn’t working properly, hot reloading itself is what’s broken and your code is fine. You can’t trust it, you just have to restart the simulator and see if your code starts working magically.

The promise of React Native, that you can leverage existing web development experience for real mobile apps of both platforms, is really tempting. I hope the tools become more reliable some day.