Smooth Nostr Mobile Experience

Smooth Nostr Mobile Experience

A guide to making your Nostr experience smooth and seamless when using mobile devices. Block #786265

Apr 20

Nowadays, people mostly use smartphones to consume content. This quick guide will show you how to make your interaction with Nostr apps on your smartphone seamless.

This guide will come in handy for those who already have some experience using Nostr, and already secured their Nostr keys, configured Zaps⚡️, explored a few Nostr related apps, and maybe fine-tuned their relay connections. If you are a new-joiner, I suggest you start with this quick onboarding guide.


Nostr is often mistaken for a social media platform, however this perception couldn’t be further from the truth. Social media is just a drop in a bucket of what Nostr is capable of – from polls to media management tools to Marketplaces. The second most beautiful thing about Nostr after its censorship resistance is the interoperability it provides for all the apps built on top of it. Moreover, it allows you to use a single identity – the identity you truly own – to interact with all these apps. All you’ve gotta do is generate a pair of Nostr keys and use them for authentication.


But is it convenient – and most importantly, secureto paste your Nostr private key in every web app you want to check out? Not at all! That is why Nostr developers implemented the NIP-07 improvement, which allows you to use key management tools (e.g. Alby) to securely login and interact with Nostr apps. NIP-07 is widely adopted on desktop devices; many users enjoy the stitchless experience of automatically logging into various apps, while securely storing their own keys. Sadly, many are now aware that the same seamless experience is available on mobile…

A Million Tiny Worlds

Being an open protocol, Nostr inspires dozens of developers to build their projects on top. This is extremely positive for the development of the ecosystem building up around censorship resistant communications…


However, such approach has its downsides, particularly in terms of UX – using so many apps and having to log in to each one has got to be inconvenient, right? Wrong! But let’s first describe the potentially inconvenient situation one may find himself in – without realizing the problem, there is no point in searching for a solution.

The problem

Imagine the following scenario:

You are hanging out with fellow nostriches via one of the most popular Nostr apps – be it Damus or Amethyst – and stumble upon a note containing a link to one of the Nostr web apps. Possibly, one mentioned below:

... Or perhaps you want to log in to one of the Nostr web clients like | by

Clicking such links redirects you to your default mobile browser, which allows you to (sometimes) see the contents of the website. However, posting, liking, let alone zapping ⚡️ won’t be feasible until you log in with your Nostr private key, and, as I mentioned above, pasting your private keys into web interfaces is not the best practice.

Seamless Nostr experience comes to Mobile

When it comes to content consumption, smartphones and tablets have become a decent replacement for desktop computers, which led to exponential growth of mobile internet traffic over the last decade. Mobile browsers are now providing UX that is not far from what desktop browsers have to offer.

The functionality we will look into today is mobile browser extensions, particularly the ones that offer support of Lightning Network (LN) and Nostr protocol.


Not all mobile browsers offer extensions functionality; you should choose a browser according to the OS you are running.



Setting up

The most popular browser extension among nostriches and LN users is Alby 1. I’ll be using Alby with the Orion browser on iOS for this guide. Android users will have to follow similar steps to set up the extension with either Kiwi or Firefox.

💡Pro Tip Set up your Alby account on desktop first – it will be much more convenient + you’ll be using this extension on your computer anyways – be it for Lightning logins or to use Nostr web client like

Let's walk through the process step by step:

1 After downloading a browser, head to the settings.

2 Tap on Extensions (Add-ons in Firefox).

3 Tap “+” to add an extension.

4 Choose either Chrome or Firefox extension (both work for Alby).


5 After being prompted to Chrome (or Firefox) Web Store search for Alby.

6 Tap on the banner that will appear.

7 Tap Add to Orion.

8 Confirm your intention.


9 You’ll see a welcome screen asking you to set a password to secure your mobile extension. Think of it as a PIN code you would use to unlock your wallet. Make sure to set something you will definitely remember to avoid resetting in the future.

10 Assuming you’ve already set up your Alby account on your desktop, tap Login. Otherwise, tap Sign up – the process will be identical to the one described by in her step-by-step guide.

11 If you’re logging in, simply paste your ⚡️ address and password into the corresponding fields.


12 You will be presented with a dashboard; tap “꠵”.

13 Tap Accounts (if by this time you have more than one, choose the one you’d like to be using now).

14 Scroll down to the Nostr section and paste your Private Key into the corresponding field (if you are starting from scratch, it’s a good idea to double-check that the private key is in place)

That’s it. You can now authenticate yourself in any Nostr web app, login to numerous web apps via lightning, send and receive sats and much more … all from the palm of your hand.


On the screenshots below, you can see that the Login button appeared on (15). With the installed extension, you can also log in to (16) and other Nostr platforms, while keeping your Nostr keys safe (17).


Lots of work ahead

Hope this guide was useful, please share your feedback and suggest edits. I believe this article has room to improve, and I will be happy to zap ⚡️ useful recommendations. The same goes for Nostr protocol and associated apps – the developers are working hard on improving each and every aspect of the ecosystem, but Nostr is still a baby, so it too has plenty of room to grow. If you notice any bugs or come up with ideas to improve the protocol or particular apps, contact the devs – they are always happy to improve UX.


The most precise illustration of Nostr developers’ routine

My other writings:

Thanks for reading and see you on the other side of the rabbit hole.

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  1. a step-by-step guide on using Alby extension made with 💜 by melissa