There’s been a lot of momentum lately around so-called “push” technologies. HTML5 and WebSockets are starting to gain steam. Modern mobile operating systems have powerful push notification APIs. Server-side technologies like node.js are also hitting their stride with mainstream developers. For this week’s Twilio developer contest we want to see the best application that uses both Twilio and some form of push technology.
Where do I start?
There are a lot of ways you could integrate Twilio with push features. You can subscribe to events to notify your app that then takes action using Twilio on those events. There’s also the inverse, taking events that happen in your Twilio apps and pushing notifications elsewhere. For instance you could notify a web browser based on actions taken within a phone call. Use your creativity to build a great push-enabled Twilio app and you could win an Amazon Kindle 3G, a leather case with built-in light and $100 in Twilio credit.
What should I use?
If you’re new to push technologies there are services out there that can help get you started. For publishing messages to a browser, check out Kwikka, Pusher, Orbited, or Socket.IO. All of these services support real-time messaging to the browser using some or all of the most commonly supported browser push technologies like WebSockets, Adobe Flash Sockets, AJAX long polling, JSONP polling and more. There’s also a lot of options for pushing data to mobile devices with iPhone, Android and Windows Phone all supporting powerful notification APIs.
How about on the server?
On the server side, technologies like node.js make it easy to publish real-time event data. node.js works well with Socket.IO and has spawned some additional frameworks like Faye to make building real-time apps even easier. If you’re a Google App Engine user, check out the recently released Google App Engine Channel API. Some other services that might work for your app are Amazon’s Simple Notification Service or, if you’re into PubSubHubbub, Superfeedr which recently added support for Comet and WebSockets. Lastly there’s our favorite push technology: good ol’ fashioned WebHooks.
So many options available! Hopefully this gives you some good ideas for getting started on your app. If you need more inspiration or need help while building your entry, check out our Forums and we’ll be glad to help.
This contest ends Sunday December 19th at 11:59pm PT. Complete information on how to enter can be found on the Twilio contests page.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia