Skipping iPhone Lines Via Text With Twilio SMS


Golden iPhones make people do crazy things. When Apple announced the iPhone 5C, some people stood in line for over a week. Others hired people to stand in line for them. One developer scripted the whole thing.

Cemre Gungor built a Twilio-powered app that checks with Apple refreshes it’s in-store inventory cache and alerts him via SMS when iPhone 5C’s are in stock. Cemre got sick of constantly checking Apple’s website, and calling in. With his app, featured here on Medium, he’s already secured his friend Brandon the sought after golden iPhone.

We asked Cemre a few questions about developing the app.

How’d you get the idea to build the iPhone Notifier?

I got the idea the day Apple enabled in-store pickup for iPhones. Last year for the original iPhone 5, they would refresh the inventory at 10pm. So if you visited the website right then, you had a chance to make a reservation. The Monday after the launch I waited until 10pm to see an inventory refresh, but found out that they weren’t doing it at 10pm anymore. I would have to constantly check the site throughout the day. I thought, what if the computer did it automatically for me?


What was it like building the app with Twilio?

It was super easy working with Twilio. Setting up the gem was one line, then I just copy-pasted the lines from the quick-start guide and they worked right away. I haven’t done any serious Ruby programming really, but the documentation was so helpful that I could get it done myself.


How many iPhone fanatics have used the app?

I’m not sure if anyone actually implemented it since I merely gave away the code. But the blog post got about 600 views and it got tweeted about 30 times.


Anything you’d like to add?

I could have done this with an email or push notification, but I actually really preferred the phone call since it’s disruptive and would make sure I don’t miss it. That’s why it was great using Twilio.

See how Cemre built the app here and learn more about him by visiting his website here.