Daily Android App: Carbon for Twitter


Carbon for Twitter

I am a massive Twitter fan and user. I use it to keep in contact with news, friends and research. I have made new friends who share my disability and whom I speak to on a daily basis for support and contact. When I moved from iOS to Android, one of my biggest concerns were finding a decent Twitter app. On iOS I used Tweetbot which was excellent. Sadly, Tapbots only develop for iOS, so I was giving up a great app I was going to miss. I asked around on Twitter and Reddit, and flitted around for a bit. One of the most recommendedapps was Carbon, even though it had never been released. It appeared to have a massive fan base already and it hadn’t even been released yet.

Last night, the makers – Dots & lines – announced the launch on Google +, so I grabbed a copy to try it out.

Clever tricks:

On first opening the app, it appears very clean and with little fuss about the UI. There is only one theme in black. There is a visible bar at the bottom of the screen with a minimalist design of a plus button to the left (to add a new tweet), your profile picture in the middle, and the three dots for the menu.

This is the main timeline screen
This is the main timeline screen

Despite its simple look, Carbon for Twitter has some strong features beneath the hood. You can swipe or down with to fingers to scroll to the top or bottom of the list respectively. If you click on the tweet once, you will be given the options to reply, retweet, quote and favourite. The same options are available by long holding on the tweet where a pop up drawer will appear with the options. Swipe right to access the mentions list, and right again to access the DM‘s. Tap once on a mention or DM to see the conversation view.

Clicking on the menu button will bring up a small drawer on the bottom right of the screen which allows you to choose your favourites (starred) tweets, Lists, Trends, Search, Filters and settings (although I am still to work out what the filters actually do, as they appeared to have no effect on my timeline).

Drawer is accessed by clicking the three dots icon
Drawer is accessed by clicking the three dots icon

Lack of features:

One noticeable lack in this first version of the app is the lack of options. There is no option to sync Twitter with Tweetmarker or other services, no way to share tweets or links other than opening them in the browser and using the share option from there, and the Settings panel is laughably called so, as all you can do is turn notifications on or off. There is also no support for tablets, although users have had success on getting this to work on tablets. To give the developer credit, they do point this out in their announcement on Google + (linked above). Why would a developer release an app which is clearly so lacking?
The Developer has stated they have released this ‘feature light’ version of Carbon to get it out. Carbon has been delayed and anticipated for so long, that to hold it off for too much longer would be Play Store suicide. At least getting a 1.0 version out there will allow them to collate bug reports and comments whilst they work to improve it. All the features mentioned above will, hopefully, be coming in future updates.

As a result, Carbon is a nice app to get started and will now doubt be a great app in time, but it’s not enough (for me, at least) to tempt me away from Falcon Pro.

Carbon for Twitter is available in the play store here.