How’s this for a blast from the past? Last night, I fired up the good ol’ iPad 1 and came across this gem of a relic. The original iPad beautifully encapsulates legacy Twitter as if it were written in stone on a cuneiform tablet.
Baked right into iOS 5.1.1, the highest software version to run on the first-gen iPad, is this time capsule from another era in tech: Twitter directly integrated with Apple’s mobile operating system.
“Twitter is a simple communication service made up of 140-character messages called Tweets,” it reads.
As of iOS 17, Twitter is called X, Tweets are called posts, and posts can be 25,000 characters. Also, the communication service is a lot of things, but simple ain’t one of them.
Twitter went from being a section in the Settings app on iPhone and iPad to Apple abruptly pausing its ad spend from X.
Much has changed about how iOS works over the years too. Fortunately, the OS has long moved beyond needing special integration for natively sharing content to services like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Vimeo. Every app shares the same level of extension.
Can you imagine if Apple had to integrate Threads, BlueSky, Mastodon, and all the other modern communication services just to provide native sharing from apps like Safari and Photos?
Anyway, do you miss this era of technology, or did you miss living through it altogether? Federico Viticci of MacStories originally documented exactly what Twitter integration on iPhone and iPad in iOS 5 was like in 2011. Be prepared for immeasurable levels of nostalgia tripping.
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