Carbon for Twitter

New look, new features highlight a hefty update to one of our favorite third-party Twitter apps

At long last, Carbon for Twitter — long one of our favorite third-party Twitter clients — has been updated to version 2.0 with a major redesign and a host of new or revamped features. We've always had a soft spot in our dark little hearts for Carbon, having used it on webOS back in the day, and then Windows Phone — and finally on Android. It's been as functional as it has been beautifully designed, and it's managed to somehow avoid (we don't ask questions) the token limitations that have plagued other excellent Twitter apps.

The update should be going live Tuesday morning (it's live now), and we've got your walkthrough for the changes.

Stick with us here — it's as simple as it is complex.

Carbon for Twitter v2.

First and foremost, you'll notice the visual changes. While the original Carbon was one of the more minimalist Twitter apps available, v2 has taken things even further. Depending on what kind of display you have (as well as where your brightness level is set), the first thing you'll notice is that it's black. As in Black Album, None More Black, black. The notification area is mostly obscured (though not in an intrusive way — you'll still get notifications). On-screen navigation buttons dissolve to dots. (And if your brightness is turned way down, you might not see them at all, causing an odd bit of blank space.)

After that, it's just you, your timeline, mentions and direct messages. Individual tweets also have a new look, switching to the Roboto font. As we learned with the introduction of Ice Cream Sandwich, this isn't always the easiest font to read. And the default "medium" tweet size might be too small for you. There's an option to bump it up a size or two, and we suggest you give that a shot. (My old-man's eyes certainly needed it.) Also, the Twitter handle for each tweet has been de-emphasized and placed beneath the Tweet itself. That means you'll need to become more familiar with avatars — a tricky proposition for those of us with bloated follower lists — and have to keep up with friends who changes theirs frequently. It's a deliberate design decision, but not one we're sure is for the better. Time will tell.

You swipe to move between them, with the telltale dots hanging out above to remind you where you're at. (Hint: It's timeline:mentions:DMs.)

Also new: you get a larger image preview, which looks especially good for Instagram shots and Vines now that things have gone square.

Carbon for Twitter v2.

Tap a tweet to pull up the quick actions, which include reply, quote, retweet, favorite and share. If you're looking for an entire conversation of tweets, this is where you'll find it. Instead of tapping and scrolling, hit the conversation icon on the far right of the quick actions. I'm not 100 percent sure that's an improvement, either, but neither is it all that difficult to get used to. (Tapping on a direct message automatically gives you the full conversation.)

Carbon for Twitter v2.


From any of the three timeline views you can slide over from the far right to get the new "quick timeline." You can choose to have it display retweets, favorites or saved searches, giving you a, well, quick timeline of just about anything. Nice.

Carbon for Twitter v2.

By now you'll probably have noticed that the compose window has disappeared. Hit the + symbol in the bottom right to open it. You still have the option to choose to post from one of multiple accounts, if that's how you roll (but not simultaneously), take a picture, use the last one shot or choose from the gallery, or reference specific Twitter users.

Carbon for Twitter v2.

Tap your avatar in the bottom right and you get what's called the "Chaos Menu." Here you'll find a wealth of options, including a toggle for any other accounts you've added, starred tweets, lists, your retweets, a shortcut to your profile (from which you can edit your info if you like — and note how nice your Twitter background looks here, and you can update your avatar as well), trending lists, search, the ever-important mute filter, and a traditional settings menu. 

Android CentralCarbon for Twitter v2

The settings menu is worth exploring as well. Here your find the option to open links in your usual browser, though Carbon's internal webview is pretty darn good. This is where you'll also get the font size options, choose to show media preview, and the option to make avatars and images grayscale in your timeline with "Oxide" mode. (Be sure to quit and relaunch Carbon to have any of those options take effect.) You can also chose how you want quoted tweets to appear, whether to use Twitter's image uploader or Twitpic, and which notifications you want to see. Plus, you can now choose how often you want Carbon to poll for Tweets — as often as every 5 minutes, or as infrequently as 2 hours. Plus, there's a new do-not-disturb option. (By default it's set for midnight to 8 a.m.)

Carbon for Twitter v2.

And, finally, the widget has been redone, giving you quick access to rending lists, search, the camera, compose window — or just Carbon itself.

All in all, an interesting and diverse update. We've only been using it for a few hours now, so we'll withhold final judgment. But any Twitter app that gets update love these days is a good thing, especially given the direction that the official app has taken. Look for Carbon v2 in Google Play shortly with the link at the top of this post.


Reader comments

Carbon for Twitter turns v2 with grand redesign [#C2PointOh]


Do you still have a refresh timeline maximum? Funny thing was I just tweeted about deleting it because if I refreshed like 10 times in a minute (because it doesn't stream) I would have to to wait like 8 minutes for the ability to refresh again.

I believe that's a twitter api limitation, not exclusive to carbon.

Posted via Android Central App

It is and isn't. The reason the limitation is there is to force the developers to implement the streaming API. Which most have by now. Carbon hadn't

Twitter's own official apps don't stream afaik, why would they want to force devs to implement it then?

Idk. But based on those refresh limitations i would assume thats what they want devs to use. Haven't used the official app so im not sure either. But personally. I like the streaming. Its less work

Oh, don't say that! I want to be able to keep using it! I was burned by Falcon Pro when it became too popular, I like Blaq in the shadows where it is now. =P

I just installed Falcon Pro yesterday. There's a workaround to the token issue.

Also, it's the best twitter client I've ever used :D

There's a work around for Falcon Pro?! I love that Twitter client! Got burned by that too. If Carbon gets too popular it might go the same way. That's why I'm reluctant to donate to the developer. Falcon Pro hasn't been updated for a while

Well written review Phil. If you were a salesman for carbon, you just convinced me.
Always found this app boring and featureless but if this update is good enough to take me away from Falcon pro/Tweedle, then it's worth it.

Happy '2013s'

+1 SEGROUKIN. Came here to find a very comprehensive, salesman-style, idiot proof review of the app, and specially a very quick crash course, found them all. Excellent review, Phil, and FWIW, Carbon still is the best Twitter app out there.

What's tweeter?

sent from my DROID Eris, made by Nokia, powered by iOS 7 via BBM


sent from my DROID Eris, made by Nokia, powered by iOS 7 via BBM

I've always loved the way Carbon looks, but started using Falcon Pro and haven't really looked back. I'll give it another go with this update though. I've always found it really odd/ annoying to use two fingers to get to the top or bottom of the list.

Me too, but I found a way around that on version 1 where in between switching tabs, you could tap on the icon at the top to quickly take you up. Not sure if it still works here.

Posted via Android Central App

My problem with v1 is the way to view images.. Too many steps.. Falcon pro figured that out..
I wish Tweetbot develops for Android...

I've started using Carbon the past few days over Falcon Pro in anticipation of the new update and I'm STILL baffled on opening a picture.
Having to open the whole tweet to open the picture is just so jarring coming from being able to open the picture over the timeline by clicking on just the picture.

Posted via Android Central App

One thing Falcon Pro still does better is when you tap the opened picture it closes it again. No reaching for the back button like with a lot of Twitter apps, including Carbon v2.

Still no TweetMarker? :-( The one thing I was really hoping for, sigh.

Posted via Android Central App

Same for me too. Cannot live without tweetmarker. When checking twitter between devices it's a mess without it. I'm sticking with Falcon Pro.

Since getting a Nexus 4 last month I've been looking for a good Twitter app with TweetMarker too. The best I've found is Falcon Pro. Plume would have problems syncing my TweetMarker half the time which was annoying. TweetCaster worked perfectly with TweetMarker, but I just didn't like the interface that much. (Syncing with TweetBot on my iPad)

What's the conversation view like? Because if it's the same way as it did before, who cares? It's useless.

Plume, FTW!!

Plume is 4th best of Twitter clients. Carbon is the best followed by Falcon Pro. Then Tweetcaster. I tried using Plume and it was comparable to a kick in the sack

I still don't like how word prediction and auto correct doesn't appear to work in this app. This was the initial reason I stopped using it in favor of the official app.

Posted via Android Central App

I like the look of the app for the most part but it's confusing how they show retweets. I was just looking at my timeline and saw tweets of people I don't know or follow. Then I realized above the tweet someone I do follow had retweeted it and that's why it appeared on my timeline. But with it like this it's hard to tell if that text belongs to the next tweet above the one you're unsure of who's tweet it is. I shouldn't have to think that much to figure out who the tweet belongs too. I think I confused myself more by trying to explain that.

I don't like how the gestures work or the process to get to the settings. I'll stick with Falcon Pro I guess, which still looks and operates better to me.

A lot of improvements and additions but a lot is more confusing than before but maybe it'll just take getting use to. I like that now I can view my retweets and see how many times a tweet has been retweeted.

Only thing missing is refresh when a tweet is sent, or refresh at start up. And maybe a bit more customization because the background is dark as hell and with the font, I can barely read it.

Posted via Android Central App

The two-finger tap to move to the top of your timeline is absolutely awful. It worked once for me and just now I've tried to get to the top of my timeline 10 times in a row, each two-finger tap bringing up the tweet quick-actions instead.

A small button in the top right of the timeline would be a much better solution. Phones are meant mostly for one handed use anyway.

Not a huge fan of the "retweeted by" text either. Seems out of place at the top of a tweet.

I see they retain the unusable squished horizontal view of anything, as shown by the retweets and favorites views. This also affects lists, which is how I view Twitter 100% of the time.

Still waiting for them to actually use their own product and see how bad it is.

Love Carbon, it's simplicity is what made it my go to twitter app. Looking forward to trying this update!

Posted via Android Central App

Any clue/idea as to the maximum number of tweats in one's timeline? Falcon has been the best so far that I've found with 1000. And by this I mean, if I get busy and check my timeline and want to go back and review my timeline, how far back will it go? I get kinda OCD about my timeline.

Haven't found a client that could up-end Plume yet. I tried using Carbon way back when, but obviously it has changed a lot since then. I'll try this out for a few days.

Simultaneous posts are possible. Tap first account at top of message screen then tap and hold for each other account you want to send from. Easy peasy