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New Features for Twilio Sync: Message Streams and IoT Support


Twilio Sync, our purpose-built API for state synchronization, has been public since May 2017, and has become the go-to tool for real-time applications. Providing a single SDK offering solid performance and support for multiple devices, Twilio Sync today drives applications from real-time dashboards to coordinated video streams. Since then, we’ve been hard at work to go even further, and today we’re excited to bring you two major new updates to the Twilo Sync platform.


Introducing the Sync Message Stream

Twilio Sync Message Stream

First of all, we’re adding a new tool called Message Streams to the Twilio Sync toolbox, providing simple, low-latency pub/sub channels that you can use with hundreds of listeners. Building on our core primitives, Documents, Lists, and Maps, which are ideal for real-time dashboards and interactive, stateful mobile apps, Message Streams shine when your users demand especially low-latency delivery and a high message rate. That means Twilio’s now there for scenarios like:

  • Augmented-Reality Video Overlays,
  • Multiplayer Game Data, and
  • Gossip Protocols

Message Streams and State Synchronization are great when used separately, and excellent when combined together. Use Documents, Lists, and Maps to maintain the state of the world for your users, reaching multiple devices and new browser windows with built-in connection recovery. When users are online, interacting intensely with one another, use Message Streams to deliver enriching context at high quality.

We think Message Streams are the next logical step in Twilio Sync’s evolution, so we’re launching them directly in Public Beta, with support for iOS and Javascript today, and support for Android coming right around the corner. And lest we forget: the latest versions of our backend REST helper libraries provide full support for Message Streams.

But that’s not all…


Announcing Twilio Sync for IoT

We’re also ecstatic to announce that today, we’re opening the developer preview of Twilio Sync for IoT, so you can build scalable, secure, end-to-end IoT experiences using the same Sync primitives that drive your browsers and mobiles today. We’re doing this in two pieces. First, we’re adding native MQTT support to Twilio Sync, so every device from the powerful Raspberry Pi to the highly-constrained ESP8266 wearable can access the Twilio Sync runtime. Second, we’ve built the tools you need to securely provision, authenticate, manage, and organize your devices right from the Twilio Console.

Twilio Sync for IoT is part of a major effort from the Sync team to help you reach your customers where they need you to be, whether at work, in their daily lives, or a combination of the two. And we want to stay true to Twilio’s mission, to power the future of communication. That’s why with Twilio Sync for IoT, both deployed IoT devices and traditional browser/mobile endpoints can share the exact same data, with no awkward translations or shunts, bringing human communication and IoT device operation side-by-side. This is ideal for:

  • Controlling your home automation hardware from your mobile phone,
  • Tracking GPS-tagged assets using a web browser at your company headquarters,
  • Operating communication hardware from an emergency response center,
  • … or anything else.

And especially these days, we know Security is paramount. So just like any of our products, Twilio Sync for IoT—including all of the above—is built within our expertly designed cloud by the security conscious developers at Twilio.


Get Started Today

If you’re new to Twilio Sync, head over to our library of quickstarts to get up and running with Tic-Tac-Twilio. Then dive into our documentation for details on real-time application building and API snippets that will help you spin up faster. Message Streams are public as of today, available in the latest SDKs; give them a spin too!

If you’re interested in Twilio Sync for IoT, whether you’re an existing Twilio Sync customer or not, we invite you to sign up for the IoT developer preview. The Sync team will be in touch soon! In the meantime, we’ve made the IoT documentation public, together with some great new quickstarts; we invite you to look around and pique your interest.

We can’t wait to see what you build!


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