A highly critical message to the developer of Carbon used to reside here for a month. Satisfied that he has read the message, I have decided to remove it. You can find the original review below of a product that no longer exist (abandoned), which is a shame as it had plenty of potential.
Previous attempts by other third party developers has so far failed to capitalise on this. Most of these apps were plagued by either poor performance, lack of features or just plain broken. For example, Twitter's own official app on Windows Phone 7 isn't fit for purpose, and at times does not work at all.
|Carbon for Windows Phone supports inline image preview|
The client hit the Marketplace over the weekend, two months after its planed release. No trials were included, though the developers has stressed that the next version, due sometime this week, will include a trial. It costs £1.49 or US$1.99, which isn't much for a professionally done app. That is basically the price of half a pint of beer in a typical London pub, so to those moaning about the cost - don't!
|Conversation threading is supported with mentions and direct messages|
- Inline image/video preview
- Double tap on tweets for quickly replying to tweets without the need to leave timeline
- Quickline: a tab for accessing all kinds of timelines from Lists, Retweets, Saved Searches.
- Live Tiles for every account, pinnable to the Home Screen with Mentions & Direct Messages background checks
- Compose Tile, pinning a compose tile on the Home Screen for a speedy tweet composition
- Search Tiles, pin a #hashtag or keywords to your home screen for quick access to a search timeline
- Threaded Direct Messages View
- Bit.ly Pro URL shortening, Instapaper & Read It Later
|Live Tile shows unread mentions and direct messages|
dot & lines has made a big deal about Carbon's Live Tiles integration. Each accounts can be pinned, with each Live Tile supporting both mentions and direct messages background checks. You can also pin search results and a compose tile - basically a short cut that goes right to the compose tile. While it is nice to see Live Tiles supported, I would like to see dot & lines go beyond the obvious and include the ability to pin individual twitter users, conversations that people may want to keep their eyes on, and even individual Twitter lists.
Is it a killer app? well it depends on what kind of a twitter user you are. Carbon is by far the quickest Twitter client I've used on the platform. The UI and UX is brilliant, and while some features are still lacking, it works. There are issues loading some inline images from certain image hosting websites (Flickr, being particularly troublesome) but on a whole it does work smoothly. When scrolling through the timeline, expect some stuttering but this isn't as bad as it was on other WP7 Twitter apps.
|Choose from three font sizes to suit your need|
The developers has confirmed that at least two features that I would like to see are being developed for inclusion in future updates. These includes push notifications and filter - the ability to mute tweets based on users, clients or keywords. I would also like to see it gain the ability to increase the frequency of background checks, and the ability to hide retweets from the main timeline.
|Searches can be saved, and pinned as a Live Tile|
Is this the best mobile Twitter experience? No. While Carbon is the best Twitter client on Windows Phone 7, the features here doesn't come close offered by Twicca on Android (freeware), Tweetbot on iOS or Gravity on Symbian. Do not get me wrong, it is still a pretty darn good app for what is essentially a first release version. The developers has also promised many more updates to come and I do not doubt that they will deliver. Also, the fact that a quality app like Carbon exists on the Windows Phone 7 platform is a great thing and will hopefully spur others to better their own apps.
Carbon is available now on the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace for £1.49/US$1.99. You can follow me on Twitter on @jonchoo.