Twitter For Android And Carbon For Twitter Updated; Brings Usability Improvements And Bug-Fixes

Twitter has rolled out an update for the official Twitter app for Android. The update mainly brings usability improvements to the Discover, Connect and Search features.

Below is the full change-log right from Twitter -:

  • Discover: Now all the content in Discover — Tweets, Activity, Trends and suggestions of accounts to follow — appears in a single stream, on both iPhone and Android. You can also dive into Activity and Trends from new previews at the top of the Discover tab.
  • Search: Search results now surface the most relevant mix of Tweets, photos, and accounts, all in one stream (similar to the stream in Discover). We’ve also added a new search button to Twitter for iPhone, letting you search from anywhere within the app. (This button was already available in the Android and iPad apps.) Look for the magnifying glass icon next to the button you use to compose a Tweet.
  • Connect: To provide a simpler experience in the Connect tab, the default view is now Interactions, which shows you new followers, retweets and mentions. If you prefer to view only your mentions in Connect, you can adjust the default in settings – find the “Connect tab” option and select “Mentions only”.
  • Links: Click a URL in a Tweet to go directly to that website from any timeline and get to content highlighted on Twitter faster. (Previously, when you tapped any part of a Tweet, it would first expand and then a second click was required to get to the website.)

The update does not bring any graphical or UI improvements which the official Twitter client for Android badly needs. The app still does not follow the Holo guidelines, and looks like an iOS port.

On the other hand, Carbon for Twitter, the recently released absolutely stunning Twitter client also got a bug-fixing update last night.

The change-log is as follows -:

Bug Fixes:
– Notification bug that crashed after tapping
– Repeat Notifications
– Notification bug that crashed app when Avatar couldn’t be loaded
– Direct Messages Delete bug wasn’t saving changes
– Long press bug on Messages
– Composition Screen Account Selector bug
– User Profile Bio: tapping on Mentions & Hashtags bug.
– Timeline duplicated tweets on concurrent refreshes
– Compose bug that didn’t allow tweeting at 140 characters
Additions:
– Verified & Private badges
– Quick mentions

If you are an avid Twitter user, and have not already tried Carbon for Twitter, you are missing out on a lot. The app lacks a lot of features, but the developer is working on adding them soon. The app is also going to run out of its 100k Twitter token limits after which new users won’t be able to use the app, if they have not already reserved a token.

Carbon for Twitter Arrives on Android with Its Gorgeously Animated User Interface

After teasing us for months, Dots and Lines has finally introduced Carbon for Twitter in the Play store. Carbon made a name for itself on the WebOS App Catalog and Windows Phone Market as a gorgeous, intuitive, and powerful Twitter client for the masses as well as power users. Making the cut in the crowded Play app store will be tougher, but judging from the initial spate of downloads, there’s still room for a carefully crafted Twitter app for Android.

Carbon-Twitter-Android

Carbon for Twitter makes a positive impression the moment you launch it. After a quick splash screen, you are asked to authenticate yourself, and within seconds your Twitter stream is laid out in front of you in neatly arranged cards. Two-finger downward swipe takes you to the bottom of the list, while a similar gesture in the upward direction will take you to the top. Swiping right will take you to the Mentions and Direct Messages screens. There are subtle animations for practically everything you do, and Carbon for Twitter feels alive in a way very few Android apps do. My favorite is the little card tilt animation that Carbon does while jumping in and out of a conversation. In spite of having a beautiful user interface that is livened up with thoughtful use of animations and clever gestures, Carbon feels fluid and fast. None of the lags and momentary freezes that are oh-so-common in Android are present in Carbon.

Carbon-Twitter-Stream

This is not to say that it’s all rosy with Carbon. The first version is understandably buggy, and crashes every once in a while. I have already had to reinstall it once to fix a crash loop. Carbon is pretty feature complete, and includes support for native retweets as well as classic retweets, lists, searches, hashtags, and trends. The Filters feature deserves a special mention, since it’s something I am only used to seeing on desktop clients. You can cleanup your Twitter stream by filtering out content based on people, hashtag, or keywords. However, power users might spot that a few features they are accustomed to using in other clients are absent in Carbon. Sync frequency can’t be changed (it’s either once every fifteen minutes or not at all), the app doesn’t have a widget, integration with third-party url shorteners and image uploaders as well as services like Twitlonger and Tweetshrink is absent, and video uploads don’t seem to be supported at all. Tablet support is also missing at this point. However, this is only the first version. I am sure that M.Saleh Esmaeili, the developer, wanted to get a working version out as soon as possible, and feature enhancements will come later.

Carbon-Twitter-Profile

Carbon for Android was initially supposed to be a paid app; however, since Play store doesn’t support payments in the developer’s country, he decided to release it for free. As of now, Carbon is a completely free app without any in-built advertisement. It’s the most visually attractive and fun Twitter client I have seen on the Android app store. If none of the missing features I listed above are dealbreakers for you, go ahead and take it for a spin. It’s still early days for Carbon, but it has definitely raised the bar for Android apps as far as aesthetics is concerned.

Carbon-Twitter-Conversations

[ Download Carbon for Android ]

Koush’s Releases Carbon – App Sync and Backup; Allows You To Backup All Your App Data Without Root Access

One of Android’s biggest weakness is the inability to backup all the user installed apps and its data without root access. That changes today with the release of Carbon – App Sync and Backup from Koushik Dutta.

Carbon will work on all Android 4.0+ running devices, and can backup all your installed apps and its data without root access. The app can backup the data either to your phone’s SD card, PC or to cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Box and Google Drive. You can also setup a schedule at which the app will automatically take backups of your installed apps and app data, and upload it to the cloud.

The only catch here is that before you can start using the Carbon app, you are required to use the desktop client of Carbon. Otherwise, users without root access won’t be able to use the app.  Users with root access can directly use the app without the need to use the desktop client of the app. Non-root users are also required to use the desktop client of Carbon each time they restart their device.

Carbon is available as a free download in the Play Store with an IAP (In-App Purchase) of $4.99 to unlock the premium features of the app.

P.S. – Carbon will not work on Motorola devices due to a bug that breaks Google’s Backup and Restore service.

The Autobiography Of Carbon: Adventures On Earth (Part 2)

I am Carbon, as you might know. This is the concluding part of the story of my life. If you haven’t read the first part, I would request you to read it before proceeding.

On A New Planet, In A New Cauldron

I was bored by the inactivity of it all. The lava flows had ceased, the sulfur was gradually subsiding. Even though the atmosphere still had copious quantities of ammonia and hydrogen sulphide, it was less pungent than earlier. The story of the miracle, as I saw it, started in the oceans.

I had traveled the oceans and found it to be violent. Near the shores, however, the water was calm at places. I once saw some green slime lying around on the rocks which is from where I’ll begin the story of the miracle of life. I didn’t know where the slime came from I’d know later (and hold on for that!).

Algae: They grew all over the place

Things were still slow. I continued seeing this green slime (let’s call it algae) everywhere. I saw different varieties of the green slime some had a different tint of green, some were bluish! New creatures emerged in about 50 million years soft sponges. I bore witness to the first creature that could move with the help of tides.

Things were happening now the great drama was getting more characters.

I watched the sea being filled by a plethora of new creatures creatures so strange that you’d not believe me! They moved in wiggles, their skin was slightly hardened. They were flat and quite good through the water. The seas were filled; the variety was amazing; the miracle was happening. I was lucky to have arrived on this planet!

First Stop: Inside an Insect

I left the ocean as a molecule of carbon dioxide. The view from the air was a huge change in perspective. I could see that the lands were barren except for a few mounds of green vegetation here and there.

The Eye Of A Fly

There were no strange creatures that would change! I was sucked in by a blade of grass. I was made (or, rather, ‘photosynthesized’) into food they call it glucose’ in their tongue. The huge glucose molecule, (and I learned that they get much bigger than that!) in which I was lodged, was swept through the transport system. I ended up in a part of the stem. By this time, the lands were also seeing the influx of strange creatures. All of them had six legs and called themselves insects’. They would dominate the air for a very long time. Few of these fed on grass and I was happily chomped up by one of them. I was assimilated into a molecule of insect protein a staggeringly complex molecule in which I held a key part of linking two chains of amino acids together. The best thing about this was the view the molecule I belonged to was a molecule in the eye.

The New Rulers: Lizards, Big and Small

I’ll leave a few details out, for the fear of being too long. Insects don’t live for too long and I soon ended up as a part of the matrix in the shell of an egg. The owner of the egg was a particularly fine woman of a species that had come out from the water and had lost all dependences on it. They were lizards reptiles’ was their general name. The egg hatched the young one was born and looked ugly. I stood in horror as it was soon eaten up, but such is the rule of the jungle. The egg shell disappeared in the ground; I was released in the air. I was again absorbed by a green plant by now much bigger. The speed of change was staggering!

It was a thrilling experience to be a part of the leaf that was chomped off by the greatest land animal that ever lived on the earth! Brontosaurus it called itself and it was majestic! The dinosaurs were the masters of the land now! The creature lived to a ripe old age and I stayed with it till death. It’s strange how déjà vu this feels like! The cycle of life must go on for all creatures, big or small!

Brontosaurus: An Artist's Impression. The real thing was so majestic.
The Tyrant Lizard King

Let’s skip a few  million years and come to a remarkable association I had with a legendary creature. I was then in the body of a herbivore. I heard the most terrible cry as it was hunted down by a huge animal with great teeth. I would later be a part of a tooth. The hunter was a terrible lizard, renowned as a master hunter who terrorized all appropriately called Tyrant Lizard King, Tyrannosaurus Rex.

The Great Change

The world had changed so much in the last billion years! A more radical change was waiting! A flash of light, a huge clap of thunder, a searing blast of wind, a wave of destruction, a scene of utter annihilation! The Earth was struck by a meteorite. One of the biggest extinctions had come about! Not even the Tyrant King survived! I was whipped up in the atmosphere and taken half the way across the globe. The water bodies were now separated by wide stretches of land. The very distribution of land masses had changed!

Out of the ashes would come out birds! Apparently, the one lineage of the dinosaurs had survived the catastrophe and had taken to the skies! It suddenly seemed an alien world!

The arrangement of the continents had changed.

Paucity of space and time forces me to skip ahead a few million years again. Two legged creatures had evolved by this time. Humans were soon beginning to take over the role of the dinosaurs in dominating the world. They didn’t have any large teeth, neither claws, nor strong skin. They had weird looking balloon-like heads and it was this that they used to control the world around them. I guess, dear reader, you know about all this, since you’re also human.

The apparatus for the Urey-Miller Experiment

Part Of A Great Experiment

Answers, answers, answers I got one very recently and it was profound. I was in a carbon-dioxide molecule and was put inside a flask with many other types of molecules, such as ammonia and sulfur derivatives. I suddenly remembered my days on early earth. What was happening? This was unnatural! How did the ancient atmosphere come back? A streak of lightning answered the question. This was some experiment! One streak followed the other! Soon, a remarkable thing started to happen. Molecules came together to form dark clumps of amino acids on the sides of the flask. Someone had re-created the origins of life!! I was bonded into an amino acid as well! This would later be revealed to me as one of the greatest experiments undertaken by humans amino acids, and later maybe self-replicating proteins, created in a flask! Genesis! Creation! Life! I understood where the algae I had seen earlier came from! (Refer to the Urey-Miller experiment done in 1954, the year DNA was discovered.)

Final Words

Feel proud, dear reader, of your association with the stars. Here, I’ve just told my story! You have a huge number of other elements, oxygen, iron, potassium etc. Each has a story to tell. Iron was formed in far more drastic conditions than mine. We come together to form you! We are related to the vast cosmos in the deepest way possible. Each cell in your body, the very arrangement of elements in complex molecules and far grander structures that you carry (like your brain) carries the history of time, the wisdom of ages and the story of our place in the Universe. That’s the greatest story that can be told!

It has been half a century since that proud moment of the experiment. I now sit in the neuron of an individual of the human species, one of average height and mediocre intelligence, directing his hands, along with a million other neurons, to type out my story. I now instruct them to put the ending dot, the dot right here, this last one.

The Autobiography Of Carbon: Birth And Finding A New Home (Part 1)

It had come upon my being, whether fortunately or unfortunately, that I was born in the core of a massive star in the Milky Way Galaxy. I was christened Carbon’, because I looked like one with six protons and six neutrons. (The naming is a family thing; everyone in the family has the same name). I was given pride of place in the Periodic Table, four places to the left from the right on the second row. I was small, but proud of my six positive charges. This is the story of my life so far, immortal as I am. Kindly, dear human reader, read on!

A Violent Birth

I was a small nucleus, called Helium. Little did I know that I would grow in size. You see, within my kind, you grow by collisions. If I was supposed to become the bigger Beryllium (Be), I would have to collide with a Helium nucleus (snazzily nicknamed Alpha’). The catch is that a successful collision is extremely rare, even though the number of collisions itself is very large. Call it social pressure or anything else you like, but even though two alphas want to be together to form a more stable beryllium, they don’t come together because of their repulsive ego-like charges. Having a successful’ collision is a difficult and a lucky business. I was lucky!

So I did become Be. This was the first step towards adulthood, the next would be becoming what I’m now! That would require a greater amount of luck, and energy. The further constraint in this next conversion step was that the stable me cannot be formed by just colliding Be with alpha. The collision had to come very soon after becoming Be. I was lucky again! I soon got a good enough collision with an alpha and formed a more excited state of my present self (Ref. Hoyle State of carbon and Triple Alpha Process). Only a few of my Be brethren had got this far! I felt proud; relaxing by releasing a couple of photons. And that’s how I came to be. Or so they said!

The Triple Alpha Process. The wiggly lines represent energy emitted in the form of photons. Notice the absence of the wiggly lines when the Beryllium fuses with the Helium.

I was now Carbon!

Blast and my journey through space

I sat for a couple of billion years at the core of this star. (Time flies so fast when you’re 50 million Kelvin hot, that you don’t notice.) Then, suddenly enormous pressure built up. My surroundings went a bit dark. The temperature increased. A new batch of reactions started over. Some of my Carbon brethren got converted to Oxygen and then Neon. I escaped the fate. The pressure continued to build up. Then, all of a sudden, it released. I was swept out into space I’ve never experienced such a rush. Streams of ions followed. The outward force was enormous. The giant star, my home, was dead. The elders say that it was the Supernova.

The star exploded in a fantastic explosion, called a supernova.

Initially, I got shocked by the static medium outside the stars. I was forced to slow down. My journey across the cosmos had, however, begun! I was now in the Interstellar medium.

I looked back at my old home it was still simmering, but just a glimpse of its old majestic self. The sea of ions propelled out was still being pushed out by the angry star. I would later know that it would become a neutron star. I rode the stellar wind out into space.

Space is the most horribly frigid place you can imagine; I was cooled to my neutrons. However, due to the plethora of electrons in the medium surrounding the stars, and my six positive charges, I attracted six electrons, which began revolving around me in specified orbits. I was feeling more complete as Carbon. One of the greatest friendships had begun! A great new number of possibilities opened up.

My New Home And A New Life

I got dragged by the wind and landed in a whirling gas of rocky materials on the outskirts of the Milky Way. I knew enough to know that planetary formation was going on! Maybe, this was my new home, my destiny! I settled on the third rocky mass from the star called the Sun! Earth as it was called would be my new address in the cosmos.

I saw comets rain down upon Earth carrying ice and water, which gave this nascent planet raging water bodies. I was up in the atmosphere. I was associated with two atoms of oxygen, forming carbon dioxide. My electrons had started showing their magic the magic which would, in a few million more years, produce the greatest miracle in the Universe Life.

Comets rained down on the Earth and brought water

The ground was not hospitable. I rained down, weakly associated with a molecule of water. Flowing down a deep dark crevasse, I landed up in a hot cave. The surroundings smelled of raw sulfur. I flowed down and out into a large water body. I was in the forming oceans. I would idly sit here, for a billion years or so, after which my life would explode with activity. The greatest miracle was happening in front of my eyes. I was soon going to be a part of it. I was soon going to be a part of Life!

Stay Glued  For The Second Part

In the concluding second part, I will reveal the various paths that I’ve taken throughout the eons through the shell of a shellfish to the trachea of a Brontosaurus and onto the teeth of a T-Rex. I’ve traveled continents by simply riding them as they moved. I’ve shaped muscles, I’ve been a part of the design of intelligence and I’ve been lucky to know how all of this really started off. Hang on for the second part; it’s the greatest story ever told!