On May 31st, John Gruber challenged readers to "imagine what else the system could provide if your Twitter account was a system-level service." Hinting that he has "the bigger story", that leads me to work from what Twitter offers to what it could offer iOS 5 at the system level. Later, in his podcast, The Talk Show, Gruber says he doesn't know what the story is. He would find interesting the ability to tweet from any app without having to build the Twitter component, like you can email from any app by having the Mail app overlay your app.
What Twitter offers:
- short messages, sometimes with links (URLs as content-type indicator)
- location, either with Places or with geographic co-ordinates
- hashtags, which typically link to search pages
- now, we're being told, through Tweet Entities, photo (and presumably, video) hosting
- why just photos and videos? Why not any content type? Spreadsheets, presentations, PDFs, books, etc.?
- Tweet Entities contains structured data on tweets for programmers to do stuff with
- private messaging
- replies (rudimentary threaded conversations)
- which ties into other services too, i.e. "Login with your Twitter account"
- an API, which has often been copied for compatibility (or for ease in developing)
What iOS/Apple/iPhone offers:
- Anil Dash's list:
- cross-platform app- and media-delivery system through iTunes and the stores
- messaging through push notification
- account info for people receiving notifications + credit card info
- spends most of the article on messaging and APIs
- if Twitter at the system level has anything to do with notifications, then the notification experience needs an overhaul.
- the app experience