We had no choice. We had to build Blink or we were going to jump out the window in frustration over the tools we were using. We started by analyzing what the must-haves were and we ended up grounding Blink on these four concepts:
• Fast rendering: dmesg in your Unix server should be instantaneous. We can't wait even a second to render. We didn't need to reinvent the wheel to make this happen. We simply used Chromium's HTerm to ensure that rendering is perfect and fast, even with those special, tricky encodings.
• Always on: Mosh transcends SSH's variability. Mosh overcomes the unstable and intermittent connectivity that we all associate with mobile connections. You can check your Safari without fear of having to restart the SSH connection. You can flawlessly jump from home, to the train, and then the office thanks to Mosh. Blink is rock-solid connected all the way. Mosh is readily available and can be easily installed on your server. Go to https://mosh.mit.edu.
• Best Keyboard Support: Blink embraces Bluetooth-coupled keyboards with gusto. Some like Caps as Esc on Vim, others Caps as Ctrl on Emacs. Blink champions them all. During your always-on sessions, you're in your zone.
• Custom Fonts and Themes: We know how important it is to have your terminal, your way. That's why we include a selection of fonts and themes, including Powerline variants. And if that isn't enough, you can create and add your own.
But, Blink is much more. Please read on.
• You should command your terminal, not navigate it. Blink will jump you right into a friendly shell and it'll be clear to you how to roll.
• The interface is straightforward. We dumped all menus and went full screen for your terminal. Use swipe to move between your open connections, slide down to close them, and even pinch to zoom!
• Configure your Blink connections by adding your own Hosts and PKI keys. Synchronise with iCloud. Everything will look familiar and you get to work, fast!
- We've incorporated SplitView and multiple windows, for those necessary Google searches and chats with coworkers.
Blink is open source software. Participate in our community, and don’t forget to leave us your feedback and your feature(s) requests. Enjoy!
- Allow to remap Cmd-. back to ESC. Refs #1358
- Optmize menu generation
- Fixes for FileProvider hangs under certain conditions. Thanks rrgeorge and gyre
- Fixes for FileProvider under Windows when using other drives. Thanks Jeremy.rm
- Hotfix for custom shortcuts
Ratings and Reviews
It just keeps getting better
Blink is now my absolute go to for Mosh and SSH. The continued quality improvements just keep making it better. This latest round improves all kinds of keyboard capabilities making it on par with desktop keyboards and even works around Apple’s removal of the near-mandatory ESC key.
What I really like is that the author hasn’t gone overboard with unnecessary features nor unnecessary minimalism. The app strikes the right balance and has the feel that they use their own application for real work. The performance and reliability is great — exactly what’s needed from a terminal application.
It’s also with that Blink has a number of diagnostic tools in it as well for helping to solve network issues. (e.g. when a host isn’t responding, or when T-Mobile LTE won’t allow ssh and you should activate a VPN).
Excellent terminal but frequent behavior changes
Blink is awesome and pretty much part of my daily routine. That said, the behavior changes pretty frequently and it’s not always better.
The latest release (13.4) for example changes the way scrolling works. Is it cool that people can use a trackpad? Yes. Do I have one? No. So when the changes to support that feature change how terminal scrollback functions (something I use *all the time*), it’s troubling. Where I used to be able to go back in the buffer by pulling down the screen, now I just get the equivalent of an up-arrow at the command prompt or a mouse scroll in vim. I even commented on this in the TestFlight builds.
The release comment suggests we move to tmux/screen to get scrolling. While that’s a great suggestion, it really shouldn’t be necessary to maintain the behavior from before the change. And really, even when I do use tmux, I don’t have mouse mode enabled so I get to change my flow (again) to manage scrollback and copy/paste.
So, at the end of the day, Blink is very cool. It’s pretty much the best terminal app available for the iPad. Having mosh is also very cool. On the other hand, if I’m using Blink and mosh, I should not be forced to use tmux.
I guess it’s back to plain old ssh for now; scrolling seems to work there. Well, at least until that changes.
Developer Response ,
Hi! Thanks for your message and sorry for any issues these changes may be causing you. We will do better on our release notes in the future and offer alternatives for these cases.
Does not support IOS internal keyboard.
Using the on screen keyboard tying a / requires three keystrokes. Guys do you really use ~ or the back tick (lower case same key) more than the slash. I rather doubt it. B o o. On youse. 3rd party keyboards are NOT the answer. An option to add a key or replace the ~ or its buddy makes much more sense. Rather than get carried away with toys, colors etc why not make this thing useful for those of us who who it as professional admins/programmers.
And there does not seem to be a way to ask questions. That said I’m not sure they care about the internal keyboard. If you’re a ssh/Unix shell user this is for you. I do not use windows or Mac workstations. With blink I can just carry my iPad. Totally works whatever you know how to do, you can do only any server you can ssh into.
It’s easily a five start if the slash did not take three (that’s 3 fellows) keystrokes.
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- Carlos Cabanero SL
- 56.4 MB
- Developer Tools
- Requires iOS 15.0 or later.
- Requires iPadOS 15.0 or later.
- iPod touch
- Requires iOS 15.0 or later.
- Requires macOS 12.0 or later and a Mac with Apple M1 chip.
- Age Rating
- This app may use your location even when it isn’t open, which can decrease battery life.
- © 2016-2022 Blink Shell Inc
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