Was I wrong about iOS 5 Twitter clients?

A few days ago, in a post about how Apple’s recent announcements may affect third-party software, I said iOS Twitter clients are threatened by iOS’s upcoming Twitter integration. I may have had that completely backwards.

Certainly Twitter satellites like TwitPic and yFrog will be hurt. These services are already taking a hit from Twitter’s alliance with Photobucket—iOS integration will just make things worse. Very few people will care enough to tell their iOS Twitter client to use one of the “off brands” when their system signon gives them photo sharing automatically.

But Twitter clients like Tweetbot and Twitterrific may well be better off after Twitter integration. If iOS’s hooks into Twitter are done right, these clients won’t have to go through the OAuth dance to handle direct messages—a better deal than what they’re facing now. I’m assuming the integration will take the form of a set of iOS services that provide access to the entire Twitter API with credentials handled at the system level.

I does seem a little weird, though, that Twitter would go through these recent machinations to cut off services to third-party full clients and then turn around and open the gates to third-party clients on iOS. Maybe the “deep integration” isn’t as deep as I’m assuming and stops before it gets to authorization for every action. On the other hand, you’d think Apple would insist on full access. If anyone here knows for sure, and can say something without violating an NDA, I’d love to hear the full story.