Cloud telephony company Twilio has announced a partnership with Google to integrate its API with App Engine, Google’s platform for cloud applications. Google has a clear explanation of what this enables here. You can have your application respond to incoming SMS texts or voice calls, and send an SMS back, or for voice, play messages, record the call, or ask for further digits to be pressed to route the call appropriately. You can also use the API to initiate calls or send texts.
If you look here there are how-to examples (generic to Twilio, not specific to App Engine) for some of the things you do with Twilio:
- Automated reminder calls
- Click to call on your web site
- Company directory
- IVR (Interactive Voice Response) for automated support
- Phone polls
- Voice mail
- Voice transcription
and more of course. Help desk applications and other kinds of support are the most obvious applications, but there are no limits: if you want to build voice calls or SMS messaging into your app, Twilio is the obvious solution.
The relationship with Google is not exclusive. Twilio already has integration with Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform. Google has one-upped Microsoft though. The Azure promotion gets you free credit for 1000 texts or minutes for Azure, while there are free 2000 texts or minutes for Google App Engine customers.
You can also use Twilio on any platform that can use a REST API. There is a module for Node.js, and libraries for PHP, Python, Ruby, C#, Java and Apex (used by Salesforce.com).