If you are on Twitter (and you really should be), you obviously need a good Twitter client. The default Twitter app for Android isn’t very powerful, missing out on several important features like multiple accounts, filters and more. And let’s face it, it’s not the prettiest thing to look at.
Thankfully, there are lots of other Twitter clients for Android. Carbon has been around for some time now, but the recent update to v2 has turned it into a fantastic client that’s worthy of space on your Android. It’s beautiful, it’s fast, and it’s full of features. Oh, and it’s free. Let’s dive in…
Black Is Beautiful
Carbon v2 has an all-black look that is a delight for the eyes. There’s no option to change the theme and perhaps that’s good. There’s a minimalism to Carbon that is missing in other apps. It’s a full-screen, ad-free app which denotes extra pages with minimalistic scrolling dots, like those you see on some launchers.
The app is entirely operated by gestures. The three dots represent the three most-used columns of Twitter: Timeline, Mentions and Direct Messages. You can swipe left and right to switch between them. It’s a fluid interface that performs admirably even on low-power phones. I tested Carbon on a handset with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 512MB RAM running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean—it was buttery smooth.
Swipe in from the right of the screen and you will toggle the Quick Timeline pane, which lets you access your lists, saved searches and other custom timelines. It doesn’t take up the whole screen, making it feel like a temporary pane. It’s a small thing, but it matters.
Small design elements can have a large effect on the user. I always liked, but Carbon has it beat, in my books. The combination of the stark black design and the lovely fonts somehow make a constantly updating timeline not appear as overwhelming as it does on other apps. Even if you are new to Twitter, you will appreciate the simplicity of Carbon and be happy with what it offers.
Beauty & Brains
To interact with any tweet, such as to look up the link in it, reply to it or retweet it, you have to tap the tweet and find options for different actions. Again, the design is a big element here, as the tapped tweet comes into focus while the rest of the timeline fades away.
Carbon v2 includes a built-in browser so you can open links in that by default, letting you stay in the app. In the app’s settings, you can change this to always access your default Android browser. Carbon also previews inline images and opens them when you tap. But in my tests, it didn’t work with GIFs, which is a pity.
At the bottom right, you will see your display picture floating, denoting which account you are accessing at the moment. Carbon allows you to add as many Twitter accounts as you want and switch between them seamlessly.
This display picture also lets you compose a tweet, where you can also add images and handles of people you follow. In the settings, you can customize which service you use for image uploads and shortened links. Surprisingly, there’s no hashtag shortcut, which many apps offer. And there’s no support for services like Twitlonger, which let you surpass the 140-character limit.
The display picture also provides a shortcut for Twitter searches as well as trending topics. I was very disappointed with the trending topics interface. By default, it shows Worldwide trending topics, but if you want to know what’s trending in your city or country, you have to manually scroll to that—there’s no shortcut to save it or quickly look it up with a search. It’s a big miss.
Finally, Carbon also lets you set up filters to block annoying people or hashtags or keywords, again accessible from the display picture’s options. It worked fantastically!
So yeah, Carbon has a lot of settings you can tweak and enough features for power users. But it’s still not as customisable as Tweetings.
Should You Get Carbon?
An emphatic yes! Carbon is beautiful and feature-packed, so there’s very little reason not to download it. Social media pros might still be better served with Tweetings, but Carbon is good enough for most power users.
Download: Carbon (Free)