Apple may have had its differences with more than a few technology firms in the industry, but it seems to feel differently about Twitter with the news that the two lovebirds have joined hands to make life just a little bit easier for iFans.
Rumours that deep, ‘system-level’ Twitter integration was coming to iOS are no longer rumours. Apple has official announced at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) yesterday that Twitter will play a major role in shaping the future of social networking on iDevices.
Cupertino confirmed that it would be integrating key features of the micro-blogging phenomenon into the fifth major iteration of the iOS operating system at WWDC. The first of the changes is that users will now be able to sign into their Twitter account once and tweet directly from an array of applications such as Camera, Photos, Contacts, YouTube, Maps and other third-party apps that take advantage of the single sign-on API.
Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice president of iOS software, said: “We hear from a lot of our customers on iPhone, and iPad and iPod Touch that they love Twitter, so we want to make it even easier for all of our customers to use Twitter on iOS products.”
No longer friends
While Apple is by no means the first to integrate Twitter to its platform, the decision to leave out the invisible elephant that is Facebook could be pivotal. As it stands, Mark Zuckerberg's service has no integration with iOS other than what it already offers as a standalone application.
Apple had previously integrated Facebook into its Ping social music network that launched last year, but later stripped it of the functionality completely following a dispute with the social networking giant.
Naturally, that left the door wide open for Twitter to climb onboard and secure a massive advantage.
Jack Dorsey, creator of Twitter, said: “Building Twitter into iOS 5 truly creates the easiest way to share everything that’s happening in your world. Take a picture, tap “Tweet.”
“Tweeting has never been simpler.”
One of the cool implementations of the service we’ve seen so far is the ability to connect your contacts with their Twitter accounts.
“Want to mention or @reply to a friend? Contacts applies your friends’ Twitter usernames and profile pictures. So you can start typing a name and iOS 5 does the rest,” Apple explains.
“You can even add a location to any tweet, no matter which app you’re tweeting from.”
Apple also unveiled a spate of other features for iOS 5 at the event, including a new ‘pull down’ notifications area, which can revealed with a vertical swipe gesture, much like on Android.
This aggregates all your important notifications, such as messages, calls, emails, downloads and so forth, with smaller icons displayed at the top when it’s not open.