What would Apple have to gain from system-wide Twitter integration? Think about how many steps it would take out of your daily app usage experience if you could sign in once, and then use Twitter-based sharing and discovery tools in every app that hooked into them without having to login again. It would also make your personal device a social one without the need of intermediary software. A lot of rumors circulating this week point to that being a real possibility for iOS 5.
Robert Scoble, blogger and tech evangelist, tweeted Friday that “Apple is building Twitter in deeply into iOS5″ and that we’d see what he was talking about next week at the WWDC 2011 keynote on Monday. Scoble seems incredibly confident about his source, who he cites as “someone who built the Twitter integration into iOS5.”
Scoble claims to have known about Twitter integration in iOS “for months now,” and though he responded to multiple requests for details with only the repeated statement that we’ll learn more on Monday, he does claim that it will go “a lot deeper than just photos,” referring to a recent rumor about system-wide photo-posting capabilities in iOS 5. It also won’t be just the addition of simple “send to Twitter buttons” for links and other content, he said in another tweet.
As with any unconfirmed rumors, take this one with a grain of salt. It’s also worth considering that reports circulated back in April that Apple had planned Facebook integration in iOS 4, but pulled it at the last second, so the company does seem to be thinking about how to bake social media into the OS. Social is also a weak point for Apple, which has yet to pull off any networking features of its own (Ping, for example). It’s a weak spot for Google , too, and shoring up that strength with an outside partner might be a good strategy if Apple wants to beat Google on that front.
Note also that on Tuesday, John Gruber, who has a great track record when it comes to predicting Apple products and features, said in response to a TechCrunch story describing iOS 5 Twitter photo sharing that it was “[s]o close to the bigger story, but yet so far. Imagine what else the system could provide if your Twitter account was a system-level service.” Imagine indeed. What do you think Twitter integration would or wouldn’t bring to the platform?