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!
New on this version is the new Files.app integration inside Blink, to give you easier access to your remote files, kinda like interactive SFTP, the iOS way. Sometimes, touches are better than commands. You can enable it inside Settings > Hosts by flipping the Files.app switch on the Hosts you wanna access. It also makes them easily accessible by other apps, so for example, you can attach a file from your server to an email, without typing a single command.
Few bug and stability fixes as well:
- 2FA fixes for a strange case where a public key may be followed by a password and 2FA.
- Fixed terminal display modes and other flags being reset after some time.
- Changes on state reset.
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.
Excellent product, support, and community
I’m a SSH newbie, learning how to create instances within the cloud, so I was both very interested in the Blink application for many reasons: being able to SSH into my instances using only my iPad (giving some definite freedom there!), and because of all the rave reviews that are out there. I had to learn quite a lot about public and private keys and moving them around for access, but I was able to successfully thanks to both Carlos Cabanero, who was exceedingly helpful and friendly, as well as a few community members who answered my question right away. Frankly, I was surprised to get such helpful answers, I felt embarrassed about asking things that I felt sure marked me as Newbie from a mile away :) But, anyways, now I’m able to SSH into my AWS EC2 instances and I couldn’t be happier..
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- Carlos Cabanero SL
- 51.5 MB
- Developer Tools
- Requires iOS 14.1 or later.
- Requires iPadOS 14.1 or later.
- iPod touch
- Requires iOS 14.1 or later.
- Requires macOS 11.0 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.
- © 2016-2021 Blink Shell Inc
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.