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Up close with iOS 5: Twitter integration

Lex Friedman | Oct. 14, 2011
Nestled alongside the flashier new features in iOS 5 is a smaller, subtler addition—deep integration with the Twitter microblogging service. Twitter has always teamed up nicely with Apple’s iOS devices, as evidenced by the array of third-party Twitter clients available via the App Store. With iOS 5, the ties run even deeper, as you can now tweet photos, links, and more from wherever you happen to be at the time.

There’s a character countdown widget showing how many of your precious 140 characters you have left. You can tap to add your current location to your tweet. And any attachment—either a link, or one or more images—is displayed in thumbnail form, attached to your tweet with a virtual paper clip.

When your tweet posts successfully, you’ll hear a bird chirp of confirmation. You can disable the chirp by navigating to Settings -> Sounds -> Tweet.

iOS 5’s built-in Twitter integration certainly makes it easier to tweet specific kinds of content, like links and photos, quickly—but there are some limitations. In the Photos and Camera apps, you can tweet only a single photo at a time. And there’s currently no explicit option to compose a tweet without any attachments at all—but you can still pull it off if you’re so inclined.

When you look at any contact whose address book entry includes a Twitter username, you can tap on that username to expose two Twitter options: Tweet and View Tweets. Tapping the former brings up the Tweet Sheet so that you can compose a new message, with that contact’s username prepopulated—as a traditional Twitter public mention (not a direct message). If you want to write a brand-new tweet, you could always delete your friend’s username and start your post from scratch. The View Tweets option is meant to let you view the given user’s tweets in the official Twitter app.


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