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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell Everyone’s favorite Twitter extender

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

I’ve been praising the improvements Apple made to the iOS Notes app in iOS 9 for a while now, including on the best-of-the-year episode of Upgrade. Notes is the app nobody appreciates but everybody uses, so it was past time that Apple improved it.

The report that Twitter may be extending character limits reminded me of a Notes-related trend I noticed once again over the holiday break. When you want to tweet out a long message to your followers, but you’re on your iPhone, what do you do?

Apparently you type up a message in the Notes app, take a screen shot of it, and then post the image in a Tweet.

Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Journalists, athletes, celebrities, they’re all typing things in Notes, taking a screen shot, and then tweeting it. (That rich paper-texture background!) Maybe Twitter’s long tweets will put an end to this practice1, but in the meantime let’s appreciate how clever people are, repurposing a note-taking app and the ability to take screen shots as a way around Twitter’s character limits.

Update: I see you, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

  1. As I have been reminded by more than one person on Twitter, actual text is searchable and accessible by screen readers, while bitmapped images are not. 

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