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
– 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 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.


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 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.


[ Download Carbon for Android ]

Twitter Suffers Data Breach; 250k Accounts Affected

Twitter has released information regarding a hacking attempt which has led to partial breach of around 250,000 accounts.

In a blog post, Bob Lord, director of Information Security states,

This week, we detected unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data. We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process moments later. However, our investigation has thus far indicated that the attackers may have had access to limited user information – usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/salted versions of passwords – for approximately 250,000 users.

Twitter will be notifying the affected users for resetting the passwords and their old passwords will no longer work. Now, if you have received such an email from Twitter, immediately change your password and make sure that it is a strong password. A strong password should have at least 8 characters, should be alphanumeric and should contain upper case letters, lower case letters and special characters. You could also use services like LastPass and 1Password to generate and manage passwords.

As of now, we don’t know how they were able to breach Twitter’s security. Twitter says that it was not an isolated incident and that the attacks were highly sophisticated. Just two weeks ago, major newspapers such as New York Times and Washington Post suffered data breaches which allegedly originated from China. So far, there are no reports that these attacks are linked.

Twitter Updates Viewing Options For Photos, Videos and Related Tweets

Today, Twitter has rolled out several new updates on its site, including improved photos and videos management on the service’s web interface. The new media update makes it easier for users to view media files either from profile pages or in search results.

When a user is viewing a photo on Twitter’s web interface, users were only restricted to view the smaller size of the image. If they wanted to see the larger version they would have to view the photo from the source by clicking on it. However, the new update provides the ability to view photos right on the Twitter web interface, without having to leave the site and view it on the source web page. Users can now simply click a photo on a profile page or in search result listings to see the larger version of the media file.

Along with this, Twitter has enhanced the video viewing feature. With the latest update, videos will begin showing up in users’ media galleries. Twitter’s new Vine, along with YouTube, Vimeo, and other partners whose videos already appear in the expanded Tweets feature, will be featured alongside photos.

Yet another notable feature is the ability to view more replies on a tweet’s page, along with replies to replies. Prior to this update, any single tweet page would only contain the first few replies. However, starting today, users can simply keep scrolling down to see all replies. This feature is expected to drive more discussion on the social network.

Here’s an example of updated tweet pages that allow you to see more replies and conversations:

Twitter Replies

Falcon Pro For Android Updated To v1.4; Brings Lots Of Minor New Features

If you are an Android user and an avid Twitter user, you will clearly know that there is a serious lack of a beautiful yet functional Twitter app for Android. The official Twitter client for Android is nothing but a mess, while Plume, Tweetcaster and other similar Twitter clients look absolutely horrible.

A relatively new Twitter client – Falcon Pro – however, has the potential of becoming the best Twitter app for Android. The app was recently released on the Play Store and has been steadily updated by its developer adding new features and squashing bugs. As a new year gift, the developer released a major updated for Falcon Pro that brings with it some basic features that were missing earlier, bug fixes and some minor new features.

Below is the massive change-log for the update -:

– Added YouTube api integration
– Added option to Enable double tap on tweets
– Added logout button
– Added hide keyboard on RT
– Added report for SPAM
– Added mute mangement from settings
– Added hashtag auto fill when searching for tweets
– Added slider for refresh rates
– New “More Actions” dialog design
– Removed retweets from search results
– Set back mentions of followers in timeline
– Enhanced conversation view with private accounts
– Changed reply icon in profile view
– Faster user profile loading
– Fixed the rotation problem on tweet writer with pics
– Fixed orientation change on main view
+ other fixes

Falcon Pro is among the first few apps in the Play Store that take advantage of the new YouTube API integration from Google. The new API integration will allow Falcon Pro users to directly watch YouTube videos when they come across a YouTube video link on their timeline without the need of opening the YouTube app.

While this update in no way adds all the missing features that Falcon Pro has compared to Plume or Twicca, they still help in improving the overall usability and experience of the app.

Falcon Pro For Twitter Now Available On Play Store

Remember Falcon Pro for Twitter? The amazing Twitter client under development for Android is perhaps the Twitter client that Android needs – beautiful, fast and yet functional.

Today, the developer of the app – Joaquim – has released the final version of Falcon Pro on the Play Store for a mere $1.03. Compared to the beta version of the app, the Play Store version includes more features such as TweetMarker support, lists, the ability to search Twitter via the app and more. The app also makes use of a double-pane sliding UI to provide users with quick access to all the settings and features.

Long time Android users clearly know that there is a serious lack of a decent Twitter client for Android. Most of the Twitter clients in the Play Store look absolutely horrible and/or if they look good, they lack most of the much-needed features.

Falcon Pro not only looks good and is loaded with feature, but is also super-smooth (Scrolling is ridiculously smooth!) on all Android devices and most importantly, is backed by a developer who will not ditch the app. The last part is, perhaps, the most important considering how many Twitter client developers have recently ditched their app, all thanks to the new restrictions and regulations from Twitter.

So, what are you waiting for? Head over to the Play Store and download what is arguably the most promising Twitter client available for Android devices right now.

Skype For Android Update Brings Tablet Optimized Layout; Plume Update Brings Lockscreen Widgets

Last night, the official Skype application for Android was updated to v3.0 that brings about a new layout optimized for Android tablets. The application now features a new layout optimized for 7″ and 10″ Android tablets. Sadly, the updated version of the app will only work in landscape mode on all tablets.

The new update also includes some other changes include an improved audio quality thanks to the use of Skype’s wideband audio codec – SILK. Lastly, the update also adds the ability to sign in to Skype via Microsoft account. The update is already live in the Play Store and can be downloaded from here.

Plume, one of the most popular Twitter clients for Android, also got a bug-squashing update today. Apart from fixing a bunch of bugs and issues, the update brings lock screen widgets for all Android 4.2 users.


Below is the full change-log of the update -:

– add a lockscreen widget on Android 4.2
– fix the widget context on Android 4.2
– fix the display of the DM recipient
– fix Facebook timeline not updating in some case
– fix unread list item appearing multiple times
– improve the picture cache coherence
– make Halloween notification sound available all the time

The latest version of Plume can be downloaded from here.


Falcon Pro For Twitter – The Twitter Client Android Users Have Been Waiting For?

The Android app ecosystem may not be lacking compared to iOS, as it was before. The Play Store is now filled with some quality apps from top developers that mostly follow the design guidelines laid down by Google.

However, accept it or not, there is still a lack of a decent Twitter client for Android. The official Twitter app for Android is absolutely horrible and slow, while Plume, Tweetcaster and others seem to be designed by a high-school going kid.

Thankfully, the developer of Falcon for Twitter – a full featured Twitter widget – has released a new Twitter client for Android, based on his Twitter widget, Falcon Pro.

The app is still in beta, and does lack certain features that Plume or Tweetcaster have, but it looks much better and polished. The developer has also taken effort to optimize the app for tablets. The app will work on any Android 2.2+ devices.

Falcon Pro for Twitter is still in beta and the APK of the app can be downloaded from this thread on XDA forums. The developer plans release the app on the Play Store after beta testing it for sometime at a nominal price.

Surface with Windows RT: Likes

After an agonizing wait, I finally got a chance to play with my new Surface with Windows RT, or as I will call it for sanity’s sake, Surface RT or simply, Surface. It has been a few days, and I thought instead of writing a full-fledged review, I’d focus on some key likes and a long list of dislikes. Nits that I picked. I discuss the likes here, and dislikes in a second post.

Surface RT

Overall, I really like the device. I was determined to evaluate its use as an iPad replacement in my house. To be clear, in our house, the iPad is used for Facebook, Twitter, web browsing (between my wife and I), and some Netflix/PBS Kids/kid games (our kids, 4 and 6 years old). We are not using the iPad as a computer, or a “creation device”. It is a pure consumption device, unless you call writing a tweet, “creation”.

In that use case, the Surface has ably fit in place of the iPad for the kids. The kids have enough games that they know of, and enough games that are new, that they actually like using the Surface. My wife has not used it much, but that is because at this point of time, she considers the Surface “my baby” so she is almost afraid to some extent, of using it. However, it is only a matter of time :-)

Last night, I saw my kids fight to get to use the Surface. Mind you, we got our second iPad 2 just so they can both have their own. So, despite having two iPads, they preferred to use the Surface. Granted, it could be a novelty thing, but still, it bodes well for me that they are actually liking the device with all its oddities, like the 16:9 aspect ratio.

I replaced my iPad too, almost

As for me, the Surface has almost replaced the iPad. The big gap at this point? Twitter app! I like Tweetro, but because of their recent issue with API token limit, I was unable to sign in on the Surface despite having used it (extensively) on my Windows 8 desktop. The other two big names, Rowi and MetroTwit are both far behind what I would call a basic Twitter experience, so to me they are unusable. I am forced to use the People app and Twitter website meanwhile, and that makes for a highly sub-optimal experience for a “power user” like yours truly.

The other small issue which makes me use the iPad when the PC is not being used, is access to my work email and calendar. My work has an app which allows me to access Exchange with native iOS mail, calendar and reminders apps. They haven’t yet provisioned it for Windows 8/RT.

Besides those two missing pieces, I am extremely happy with the device. I haven’t yet experienced some of the performance issues that many others have experienced, nor have I found any major app missing. It is thin enough, and light enough for me to use it like I used my iPad. (Important to note, my iPad has a strong Speck case which makes the iPad feel heavier.)

Windows 8 (and Windows RT)

Some part of why I like the Surface so much is due to Windows 8. For example, all my settings including my lock screen image, theme, pinned websites, favorites, web history, etc. automatically came through as I signed in with my Microsoft account. This is because I had set up my account and settings on my desktop PC earlier and set it up so all those settings were synced across devices via the cloud.

Also, thanks to Xbox Music Match, a service that is yet to officially roll out but works anyway, all my music was available on the Surface as soon as I signed in with my Microsoft account. This includes some playlists I created just the day before. Again, this is because my music was matched from my desktop PC (which in turn is connected to my home server where all my music, photos and videos are stored). In addition, I was able to impress some of my family members by searching for and playing a bunch of songs on-demand via the Xbox Music subscription service. While I have the Xbox Music Pass, the unlimited streaming (with some, ahem, limits) is automatically included with all Windows 8 and Windows RT devices.

The last thing I want to mention why I love the Surface and why I replaced my iPad with it? Office. I use Excel and Word in addition to OneNote, for various purposes. Things like tracking expenses, creating birthday lists, sending formal letters, etc. are all done on Excel, Word and OneNote. Having “real” Office on my tablet with a constant sync to SkyDrive (which allows me to collaborate with my wife for some of those items) is a huge benefit. Not what I would call the #1 reason to buy a Surface, but definitely a huge plus when considering a Surface over an iPad.

Suffice to say, I really like my Surface. I think it is money well spent, for my use of such a device. Having said that, there are issues I have with the device and I list them in my next post.

Official Twitter and Facebook Apps For Android Updated; Still Sucky As Ever!

Last night, the official Twitter for Android app and the Facebook for Android app got major updates. The Twitter For Android update brings with it quite a few changes aimed at improving the ‘tweeting’ experience of Android users. Sadly, the app’s UI is still nowhere near the Holo guidelines laid down by Google.


Even then, the update adds support for Photo Streams, inline preview of photos, videos and articles and more. Below is the full change-log of the update -:

See what’s popular on Discover.
– Tweets now appear right in the stream
– These Tweets show photo, video, and article previews so you can engage easily
Get a new perspective when you search.
– Photo streams show what’s happening
– Results also show media previews
Manage your account with ease.
– Reset your password in a few simple steps
Other improvements and fixes.

The latest update for the Facebook app also brings quite a lot of new features. Sadly, the update does not bring the native version of the app that Facebook promised it is working on, quite sometime ago.

The most important change brought about by the update is the ability to share any news feed item on your timeline with your friends, which has been long requested by both Android and iOS owners. Other changes include the ability to create an album from the Photos tab on Timeline, and some other bug fixes.

The update is already live in the Play Store and can be downloaded from here.