Five tips and tricks for iOS 5's Twitter integration

Apple has integrated Twitter into iOS 5, allowing developers to seamlessly implement Twitter into their apps. We have five tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the new feature.

Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
3 min read

For iOS 5, Apple teamed up with Twitter and included native Twitter integration. The deep integration allows developers to implement Twitter in apps with little effort. As such, users will begin to see the new integration more often as developers take advantage of the new feature.

With the likelihood of you seeing the new "Tweet Sheet" more often, let's take a look at some tricks to help you get the most out of iOS 5's Twitter integration.

Tweet from Safari

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

You can now tweet a link to a Web page while viewing that page. While in Safari, tap on the button in the middle of the bottom bar. A list of options will show up, and select Tweet.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

To confirm the URL that is attached to your tweet, you will see a paperclip holding a thumbnail preview of the page you are tweeting. Once you are done entering your tweet, press Send.

Tweet from multiple accounts

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

You may have noticed the From field in the previous screenshots. This field will only be visible if you have more than one Twitter account added to your iOS device. (You can add more accounts by going to Settings > Twitter.) Tapping on the From field will bring up a list of the accounts that are currently available; tap on the account you would like to send the tweet from and away you go.

Currently you can only send a tweet from one account at time. For some users this isn't an issue, but for others who want to send the same tweet from multiple accounts at the same time, you will have to wait for Apple to add this feature, if it's even on the product roadmap.

Tweet a photo from the Photos app

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

You can now tweet a photo directly from the Photos app on your iOS device. While viewing a photo, tap on the Share button, and select Tweet. You will then see a blank tweet with a thumbnail of the photo attached by a paperclip, similar to what you see when tweeting from Safari. Compose your tweet and tap on Send when you are done.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

The Twitter keyboard for mentions and hash tags
You may notice when you're composing a tweet that the keyboard is a little different. If you look closer, you will see that there is an @ key, along with a # key next to the space bar. Tapping on the hash tag key will place a hash tag in your tweet, allowing you to keep typing without having to change over to the symbols keyboard.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

Tapping on the mention, or @ key, will pull up names of people who you follow and interact with on Twitter. As you type the first few letters of the name, the person's Twitter handle should show up below for you to select, allowing you to save a few keystrokes. From our experience, not all of your friends can be found this way. Hopefully an update down the road will improve the reliability of this handy feature.

Custom descriptions for Twitter accounts

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

If you manage more than one Twitter account on your iOS device, it can get confusing at times. While the default behavior of iOS is to use the username of the Twitter account as the identifying description for the account, you are given the option to change the description to a more fitting one.

To change the description of your account, open your iOS device Settings, then select Twitter. Tap on the account you would like to change.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

In the description field, enter whatever you'd like to help you identify the account you will be sending a tweet with. For those who manage a company's account, as well as a personal account, using a bold description can help prevent any accidental tweets on the company account.

Have a tip or trick for iOS 5 and Twitter that we didn't cover here? Leave a comment below to share it!