Carbon Twitter for Android

Carbon is for Android smartphones only, separate tablet app in the works

After more than a year in the works and a couple of false starts, Carbon for Android -- the Twitter app -- is finally available on Google Play. Everything we showed you a week ago in our exclusive preview still stands. The scrolling is the gold standard for any other application. The animations are as subtle as they are impressive. And the overall design and feel is among the best we've seen in a Twitter app. And the keyword and hashtag filters can help clean up your timeline in a way usually reserved for desktop Twitter clients. This initial release is just for phones, but rest assured a tablet version is on the way.

Best of all, Carbon is free.

One update from our preview regards the settings menu, which wasn't active in our early build. We've updated our post with a bit on it. 

The Carbon for Android video preview


Reader comments

Carbon for Android (the Twitter app) now available


looks like the google play link doesn't work. saying the requested url isn't found on the server. maybe they pulled it?

Link works for me, but it can't determine whether it's compatible with any of my devices (i.e. N4).

If you search Carbon for Twitter it will show up and you can install it from the results page. The actual page for the app doesnt appear to be working

Wasn't coming up for me, either. started working just a second ago. As previously mentioned, search "carbon twitter", and it shows up at the bottom of the first page of results.

When trying to install it via the link on mobile, it finds it just fine but says "The item you were attempting to purchase could not be found."

Oh now it works after searching "carbon twitter" like a comment above stated. I doubt it's worth the hype or wait.... But I hope it's killer.

I say Carbon. I've been using Falcon Pro for months but I think Carbon is great. And it's free! The only complaint is that Carbon is lacking some settings like custom notification sounds.

First bug that will need fixed is the app crashing when inserting a photo taken from within the app.

Also, attaching a photo to a tweet only shows the photo from within the app. Twitter and Tweetdeck just shows the tweet minus the photo.

Just tried again to take a picture from within the app to add to a tweet and "Unfortunately, Carbon has stopped."

This is on a GS3, stock and rooted.

What device are you using?

It's nice I can't lie. But there are some features of Falcon that are really nice! Probably going to use both.

Same. I like being able to check my RTs, can't change font size, and certain things I'm use to I cant customize (like having the app refresh after sending a new tweet)

I am really liking the app so far. The animation between screens is quite slick. best so far of all the apps I have tried.

It's not bad.

Seems to be lacking a few features (user search, anyone?) but the animation and overall UI is pretty slick.

I'll try it for a few days and see if it replaces ol' reliable Plume.

True, search is there. But it's a catch-all search. There's no filter. If I search for "username" it will bring up tweets and retweets from other people as well as results from that particular user.

(Does that make sense?)

Even before the developer said it wuold be free, many ppl were willing to pay or even donate because the app looked THAT good. Now, what we get is a smooth app and the animations are great but its missing A LOT of features when compared to Falcon. When Carbon catches up, and I hope it does because it could be a game changer when ppl look at Android apps in general, then i'll make this my go to Twitter app and uninstall Falcon. Until then, i'll keep both or maybe even just uninstall this until its better.

And Falcon is missing A LOT of features compared to .

What specific features are you noticing missing? In my short playing with Carbon, it addresses the holes that prevent me from using Falcon regularly, and that also leave me scratching my head in wonder when people hail Falcon as the ultimate twitter app.

Play store says all devices, but on the tablet, says 'not for tablets" and closes. Fine on the GS3. I've missed it from WebOS.

I know tablet optimization is to be lauded but after the delay, it's extra cruel to only have a Nexus 7 at this time. :-(

Having a separate tablet app is BS. There's absolutely no reason for it on Android, except greedy devs wanting to make more money.

Seriously having trouble seeing why everyone is making such a fuss over this app.

After reading about this for so long, I'm glad to finally try it. It's a pretty nice little twitter client and I think it might just be the twitter client I use every day!

There's only one Twitter client with push notifications and its not even the official one. Don't hold out any hopes for this having them.

The official (free) Twitter SMS notifications are excellent.

I just downloaded it on my Note 2, and I don't care for it. I hope the dev does well, though. I'll be sticking with Falcon Pro for now. I may give Carbon for Twitter another try in the future.

That's what I was going to ask. How does it hold up to Falcon Pro? I love Falcon but the only draw back is that it doesn't support multiple accounts.

Yep, seems like a lots of visual wow, but not a lot of substance yet. I get the "slick" part but I'll take in app browser and the ability to change settings (refresh rate, text size, etc). Also agree on the lack of tablet support. I'll be watching but I am seriously underwhelmed especially given all the hype.

I agree that Falcon is a great Twitter app which I use myself, however Carbon looks much nicer and runs much more fluid and fast compared to Falcon. It just released yesterday and ill be using it heavily hoping that the updates roll out rapidly adding the new features that we've come to love in Falcon, but with the performance and setup of Carbon.

The app looks great and has some very slick navigation. Unfortunately there is no widget available so I'm sticking with Plume for now.

I've tried Tweetcaster, Plume, and a few other Twitter apps. I keep coming back to stock. In the little time I've played with Carbon for Android I think this might be the one to get me off the stock Twitter app

An app that quits on launch with the message "Not supported on tablets" is a crappy app, for two separate reasons. Namely:
1) I can't believe that an application released in 2013 isn't designed from the ground up to use the Fragments API;
2) providing a scaled-up phone UI, albeit far from ideal, would have been better than quitting on startup.
FAIL. Actually, EPIC FAIL, because it was so hyped by you guys.
And no, I won't re-evaluate this app in the future, because Falcon Pro satisfy my needs at 110%, and it runs beautifully on my tablet.

Couldn't agree more. Yet another lazy developer porting from iOS without utilising Android's ridiculously powerful features. Even push notifications aren't that complicated...

This is the most over-hyped app since Angry Birds.

The app isn't ported. It was made for Android, but he hasn't used Fragments, which is definitely an oversight.

Secondly, true push notifications are complicated. You need access to Twitter's Site Streams API, which no app has been given access to for a while; no Android-only Twitter app has push. Echofon and Tweetings have push because they reused their iOS Site Streams access key on Android, and Falcon's real-time notifications are not true push.

Wow, do you always comment without any prior thought? This is not a port, it's built from the ground up for native for Android. And your comment on push notifications further displays your ignorance of how Twitter has put the kibosh on all new clients getting access to them. Please try and make knowledgeable comments in the future... oh wait this is a comment section right, my bad.

True, poor wording on my part... by port I meant they were just making the iOS & Android apps the same, without utilising the most powerful features that separates Android... not that they have directly converted from objective C to Java in the traditional sense of the word. So not a port... but still lazy programming.

I also confess to ignorance on the part of Twitter's API, thanks for clearing that up. Just figured that the Android-side of push notification is ridiculously easy (compared to implementing it from scratch), and since other twitter apps can do it, it obviously can be done?

I'm also being abnormally harsh because of the hype AC made over it. It's not a BAD APP by any means, just very disappointing. Quite average, considering the fuss.

Big pass. A member of the Carbon team has been acting like an asshole over on the AndroidPolice comments. Not supporting these people.

Could you provide a link? And are you sure it was a member of the Carbon team? It could have been someone impersonating a Carbon team member.

Yet another Twitter app which doesn't use Android's background sync; instead it uses timer-driven polling. Classic fail.

Doesn't keep running in the background; just like an iPhone app. No thanks. FAIL!

Running nice and smooth on my GNex, only thing I'd like to see or maybe I'm just not seeing it is a jump to the top feature. Oh and I don't need this updating every 15 minutes.

If you use 2 fingers to scroll up or down it jumps to the top or bottom. I like it so far but don't know if I'll switch from Falcon Pro. I really like Falcon Pro with the built in browser and mute functions.

Yea, without PUSH notifications for DM/RT and Pushed Tweets for people I choose it's quite useless.

Really, I completely don't see any point in releasing a Twitter app when yours is so crippled compared to Twitter's first party app.

Push notifications are basically impossible now, since Twitter isn't granting access to the Site Streams API, which is needed for push.

I love Tweetcaster, but it has been awfully laggy lately. I am trying out Carbon as we speak and I love the look and simplicity of it, but I would like to see my retweets and who retweeted my tweets. Maybe it is there and I just don't see it yet, but I like that feature. I also like tweetcaster's Interactions feature. I went back to the official twitter app to try that out as well, and I have to say that it is MUCH improved since the last time I even tried it, which was about two years ago. I am not sure, but with all the restrictions that Twitter is going to be putting on third party apps, I may just go with the official app. Seems that they will have the most to offer. I just wish I could change the background color and that they had a better widget like the Tweetcaster small widget.

Can't figure out if all this hype was serious, or if this is the Dacia Sandero of Android apps.

Couple issues so far... Looks good but havent been able to actually run it...

Google Play says 'Compatible with all your devices' and installed it, but the app exits saying 'not compatible with tablets'?! This is on the Xoom..

On the Nexus it installs and runs, but trying to authorize the app to twitter doesnt work.....
It lets me enter user name, but on the password line NO characters enter....

Well, after two reinstalls it let me enter the password..

Still a bit misleading when the Play store says its compatible with Xoom then it wont run on it....

Why is everyone so hung up on push notifications? In the settings on the twitter website you can set up sms notifications for retweet, dm's, mentions and even tweets from particular people, Isn't that just as effective as a push notification?

No, it's not as effective. SMS requires a cellular data connection, which might not be available to people inside poor coverage areas, while WiFi might be.

I personally use the pay-per-message billing model for SMS, since I use Google Voice for text messaging. Twitter SMS notification would quickly become an expensive proposition for me.

Finally, SMS will send you a link that will open a web browser for Twitter and not your app. There might be a way around that with application defaults, though.

All that said, I don't use push anything for Twitter...nothing on it is that important to me that I need to be notified of a message. It'll be there when I have the time to check the app and refresh manually.

I could see your point about coverage...I Don't use the sms to reply just to know I have been retweeted dm'ed or mentioned, then I can use the app to respond...basically using the sms just as a notification...

I can't speak for everyone else but what I like about TweetCaster Pro that Carbon doesn't offer is that every 30 minutes (you can change the interval to your liking) I get a notification that there are new tweets from people I follow. I don't have to set a list of people I really like, if I didn't want to see there tweets I wouldn't follow them. It's just a nice reminder that people I follow have sent a tweet into cyberspace.

Twitter's official app and now Carbon don't seem to offer this. I know it's not a big deal to just open the app but honestly without the notification popping up I can go most of my day without reading tweets and by that time there are too many for me to want to sort through. I like to seem them throughout the day.

There are other features I'd like to see in Carbon but the biggest one is the notifications, not just for DMs and RTs but for Tweets in general. SMS notifications are of no interest to me, that's why I have a smart phone that uses apps.

sms is an app on your smartphone...why not put them to use to solve a problem? the twitter apps don't have notifications and aren't going to...Does every app you have work and have every feature you need flawlessly? sometimes it's necessary to improvise a bit...just sayin

I get what you're saying. It's just that TweetCaster Pro does what I need. My point was that Carbon looks nice but doesn't do something I need that I get from another app. No knock on Carbon, not yet anyway, as I'm sure there will be updates and changes. I just would like to see the notifications for all Tweets sooner rather than later.

And I'm not looking for a notification from a specific Tweeter or to tell me that I have a DM or RT. I like to be reminded that there are new Tweets in general, from any and all people I follow.

Ahhhh I see, you just want to know that there are new tweets in general....I get it now...I believe Falcon Pro will do that also...

The over-the-top geek-love for Carbon and/or Falcon Pro are disconcerting. Both apps bring nothing new to the table beyond a black/dark theme, a swipe/slide UI, and apparently "smooth" scrolling on older phones while missing basic features more mature Twitter apps have. This reeks of iOS-think: form over function wins.

I'm going to keep playing around with Carbon to try to figure out why it gets hailed as what an Android app should be, but my first afternoon with it didn't impress me much. At least Carbon seems more functional than Falcon Pro.

The only problem I have is going over the 15 manual refreshes allowed in the 15 minute time limit and having to wait a few minutes before refreshing again...

That was my problem as well. I'm not really down with that. What's the point of a manual refresh if you have a limit? H no. Let me choose when I refresh my account to see new tweets. Any reasons they would implement that?

Other than that nonsense, I love the rest of the app.

Interesting. I noticed it did something on like that with Falcon where it just wouldn't refresh. I guess that was why. Any idea why Twitter doesn't want you to refresh that often? Does it overload their servers or something?

No idea, maybe, read somewhere the API's twitter releases only grants 15 refreshes in any 15 minute period...

My understanding is 15 refreshes per 15 minutes. 1 min refresh rates even 2 minutes would be fine.

The app never auto updates
Manual refresh bugs me
No tweetmarker integration - biggest issue for me
not able to change update speed

Other than those giant details that I like a lot, the app looks nice, but isn't functional for my twitter use. Plume still kicks the most twitter app for the way I use twitter.

The scroll is soooo smoooooooth. That and UI/theme I really like. Seems to have some interesting ideas which would take some time to get used to, but it all flows together once you figure it out.

I would love to see this with some more option in the settings (refresh interval, text size, etc.) and if they could have an in-app browser similar to other apps (*cough FP*) it could be a contender. Will keep my eye on it for sure.

*Also, I can't believe how obvious is that Phil is getting a cut of that app price for promoting it so much. Hey, Twitter's something a good deal of us spend a good deal of time doing so it's natural that a new option for Twitter gets some added attention. Like if someone could ever put together a decent Facebook app I'd expect to see some hype.

Its visually stunning, and the scrolling is fast. Aside from that, I'm not sure if there's enough to keep me using it.

It seems to be compatible with tablets and not phones. My Nexus 7 can download it but none of the phones listed can. I'm currently using the Note 2 but I have like 10 other phone listed and none of them can download it.

Works well for me. I have to get used to the new way of doing things from Falcon Pro though. Only thing I would use Carbon for right now is multiple account support. If Falcon Pro had multi-account support I would probably just stick with it. Carbon for twitter is nice though I have to admit. If I had used this one first I'd probably stay with it.

Has anyone figured out a quick way to jump back to your timeline? Sometimes I end up several layers deep by tapping into a tweet, a user, another tweet, another user, etc. and have to keep hitting the back key to get back home. Is there a way to go directly to the timeline?

Might I suggest that for those who install, end up not liking it and uninstall, go into your Twitter settings and revoke access for the app to free up the token? Now that 3rd-party Twitter apps are limited to 100,000 users, it seems a common courtesy to free up a token for an app you're not using.

A year ago Carbon would have set the twitter world on fire. Now, not so much. But it is only v1.0. Let's see what happens.

Not a bad initial release, but severely lacking in many options. And as "smooth" as the UI is, it makes horrible use of space for text. Too much padding above and below posts and the font is too big on my EVO LTE, even bigger than that of Plume, which I feel is too big on its smallest setting.

Other UI issues:
- Icons everywhere but who knows what they mean. Had to trial-and-error my way to finding mentions and DMs
- 4 taps to get to a list the "normal" way. Menu->Lists(guess on the icon)->List Dropdown->List I want. I guess I can hit my picture and get to one that way
- Lists are primarily how I read my feed. With hundreds of people I follow, I rarely ever care to see them ALL in one stream. However, Carbon feels the need to have the useless "lists icon" on the left hand side of the screen at all times while reading a list. Given that the text doesn't flow around user avatars, the padding on the left right of the text, it means that there's only about 1.25 inches of horizontal space per tweet. Even short tweets are 3 lines and most of them are 5 with only a couple words in each. It's a very poor experience.
- Links are hardly noticeable. Unless you click on a tweet, which makes it barely bolder.

There's other things like 15 minutes refreshes, which are unnecessary for me (every other app lets you customize), and "hours ago" instead of 9:28am etc.

All in all it is a fairly smooth twitter app but functionally it doesn't do a single thing better than any other app I've ever used, and it's probably one of the least-featured apps I've ever used for twitter ever since the Blackberry days.

Falcon pro is a much more "ergonomic" and a fulfilling experience.

I have about 30 lists, everything is on lists and it's the only way I can manage what I want to see, I always use the lists to view tweets, never the combined timeline. If you are heavy user of LISTS then Falcon pro wins hands down. Why? well swipe to the right and voila your lists are there. One swipe - there. Perfect.

Carbon - lists are awkward and annoying in comparison. hit the three small square setting icon at the bottom right, move up the column, hit the the lists button, once there, it has the most recently opened list expanded, so you have to go to the top of the page and hit the arrow. then finally your lists appear. They all have an icon (your avatar if a private list or the icon of the subscribed list) the use of space in the list is horrible, too much wasted space and too much info i.e the list name and then the list author. On my galaxy nexus only 7 lists are shown on one page view, thats a lot of scrolling due to the poor use of space.
And when you are finally viewing the lists there is an irritating vertical bar on the left of the the screen, with a list icon on it - totally wasted space - get rid of it
Another way to get lists on carbon, tap your avatar at the bottom of the screen, when your account page comes up, wait for a several seconds or more for your lists to reload, then hit the list you want, which then loads a profile of the list!, swipe that out of the way!, then see your list, with another damn vertical bar there! gah!
Are you guys serious?? carbon is annoying and convoluted - camouflaged with flashy graphics,

It has smooth scrolling, though not a massive difference to other apps out there. The LIST issue is a much more important and a fundamental problem.

Falcon pro - photos web pages and YouTube videos are all quickly and easily viewable it the app itself, carbon? click it and be taken to your default browser.

Left swipe falcon - there is timeline, mentions, DM, retweets, favs, search and settings. All right there.

And falcon pro has a full selection of settings, Carbon has no settings!

I really dont get it all glowing praise for Carbon, it's like the rapid apple nutters talking about their gear.

Multiple accounts and more searchable trends and falcon pro will be perfect.