Twitter Integration in iOS 5: A closer look

Among the many new features in iOS 5 for Apple's mobile devices, one seemingly small addition will make sharing your life in fewer than 140 characters much easier.

Among the many new features in iOS 5 for Apple's mobile devices, one seemingly small addition will make sharing your life in fewer than 140 characters much easier.

Twitter on and off
Once you have used Twitter in the integrated apps once, they will show up in the list. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Integrated Twitter features are now an option in most of the main iOS apps, and on first use, you'll see just how easy it is to send tweets from your browser, photo app, YouTube, Contacts, or Maps. iOS 5 doesn't come standard with a complete Twitter experience that lets you browse tweets as well, but during your first setup you'll find a handy button for downloading Twitter's official client.

To get started, you have the option to set up Twitter integration in your iPhone settings beforehand, or you can enter your information when sending a post from any of the integrated apps for the first time. You can either enter your Twitter log-in information or create a new account in just a couple of easy steps. You also have the option to create or log in to multiple accounts so it's no problem to separate your personal and work Twitter accounts. You can turn off Twitter integration for specific apps from within the settings, but you'll need to use Twitter in that app at least once for it to show up in the list. You also have an Update Contacts button in the settings, where Twitter will go through your contacts and add their Twitter information (if it recognizes their e-mail address).

Twitter Interface
Your attachment shows up with a paperclip on the right, ready for you to type out a message. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

With your account(s) set up, you'll now be able to send posts to Twitter from each of the apps. Now, when you're in the camera app, for example, you can snap a photo or grab one from your library, and hit the sharing button at the bottom (the one used for sending via e-mail and MMS in iOS 4). Select Twitter from the list of options to bring up the new interface. You'll see your attached photo on the right (held on with a paperclip), an Add Location button on the lower left, and a running count of characters (140 or fewer!) on the lower right. When you're done with your message, you can touch the send button in the upper right to send the post to Twitter.

iOS 5 Twitter integration makes it much easier to send tweets from the main apps, but you'll need to use the official Twitter client to send tweets without attachments. Still, adding Twitter integration to iOS 5 takes out a lot of steps when trying to tweet and attach items from each of the integrated apps.

About the author

Jason Parker has been at CNET for nearly 15 years. He is the senior editor in charge of iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.


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