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Twitter iOS Integration, Contacts

I love that Twitter is baked directly into iOS.... but could be so much more - and I've written about that from the launch (example here). My primary frustration is that the integration doesn't do enough with my contact list - which remains the most accurate, important social network. Furthermore, Twitter uses aliases - and I rarely remember people's Twitter usernames. This problem exists even within the Twitter app or popular readers like Tweetbot. Apple has a Twitter Contact tool - but it doesn't do enough: I should be able to connect with the user by name and not by username. After all, my contact list is the more natural convention and, of course, how I know these people.

In the below screenshot, I Tweeted a TechCrunch article by Anthony Ha - and the only reason the association worked is because his Twitter handle is his name!

Big opportunity for Apple to make Contacts more social and usable. And for Twitter to grow usage and cement user identity.

Siri and Twitter (Facebook and more)

As I have tweeted a few times over the last couple weeks, Siri is a better product in theory than in practice: 'she' simply is too inconsistent and too time intensive to really be worthwhile. The only pieces I find myself regularly using Siri for are sending text messages and location-based searches.

Because Siri does a good job sending SMS's, I figured I'd try sending a Tweet... after all, Twitter is fully integrated into Apple's iOS5. It should work, right? Strangely, it doesn't... and it's a big opportunity for Twitter and Apple. And why not also work with Facebook and other core applications? Or allow those core applications to develop atop / into Siri?

By the way: if you really want to update Twitter (or Facebook) via Siri, you can make it work via some clever workarounds.

iOS5 Wireless Update.

  • Easily the most important & impactful part of iOS5. Between the wireless sync and the cloud based content (apps, music, movies, etc) - the 'home' device no longer plays a role. And that's great news.

  • iOS5: Apple's Web 'Reader' is Awesome. But Also a Trojan Horse for Ads?

    It's been a year of chess moves between Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter. For example, look at the last few weeks alone:- Google+ launches as Google's social effort (and its good) - iOS5 is announced with Twitter as a key integration - Facebook is rumored to be working on an HTML5 app store of sorts And is this yet another? One of iOS5's little-discussed features is the web "Reader" tool. When clicked, it converts a webpage to an optimized, stripped page for easier reading... think iBooks for the web. It's great and I find myself using it all the time.

    The obvious thought is that it is a way to better integrate the web with iBooks and iTunes. But the next thought is: this is a way to boost iAds throughout the mobile web. They have stripped everything but the text / images and have created a clean reading experience with plenty of room for ad units. Strikes me as another chess move... this time directed at Google and Facebook's ad businesses.

    regular page:

    and using Reader:

    Apple, Twitter, iOS5 and Facebook's Phone Integration (Welcomed or Not)

    The more I play with Apple's iOS5, the more impressed I am with the Twitter integration.And the more aware I am of the potential impact it has on Twitter... But why isn't Facebook integrated instead or along with?

    Lots of people have tried to answer this question, but perhaps the below screenshot is a partial reason.

    There have been several occasions over the last week that I have misplaced a phone number and turned to the Facebook App to access the contact's number - and place the SMS / call. That's a powerful, threatening concept. And it makes sense: the majority of my contact list is now connected via my Facebook contact group. And those profiles have become complete enough that they usually include an email, phone number, etc.

    Surely there is more to the conversation between Apple :: Twitter and Apple :: Facebook, but it fascinating to realize how much of your phone activity can be supplemented - or even replaced - by Facebook.

    Quick Apple iOS5 Thoughts: Twitter & iMessage Win Big.

    Having played with Apple's iOS5 for a couple days, here are two big thoughts and a few brief ones after that: 1. This is huge for Twitter. I can't understate how cool AND how meaningful the integration is. The phone is effectively hooked directly into Twitter such that your content is always shareable. As Twitter focuses on engagement - this is a remarkably powerful step forward. And - it is done beautifully. The animations are gorgeous and the sharing happens seamlessly.

    Update: MG Siegler has a great write up on this topic

    2. iMessage is equally impressive and important (just ask the carriers and the WSJ). I grasped the importance of iMessage from the WWDC announcement - but I didn't appreciate the user experience. When you messaging friends, it automatically / seamlessly transitions between SMS and iMessage based on their platform / phone number. The animations are great and the implications are broad (iOS product extensions, carrier monetization, SMS future, messaging landscape, etc).

    3. Drag and drop calendaring is great.

    4. Notifications are obviously game-changing to the consumer experience. For developers, this is a big opportunity to improve usability and engagement opportunities. For instance, ESPN Scorecenter is an entirely new application experience for me (and far more useful).

    5. Small email tweaks are welcome (flagging, search, etc). Same with the mobile browser.

    6. iCloud has gotten tons of attention, and rightly so - game changer for content purchasing and management.

    7. There are so many new functions / enhancements that it is quite difficult to fully figure out usability. I have several Apple devices and this has been the most overwhelming transition yet. I'd go so far as to say it is mildly frustrating!