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  • By Ashley Boucher
    How to Send a WhatsApp Message in 30 Seconds with JavaScript whatsapp.png

    Just like Memphis Raines figured out how to steal fifty cars in one night, you’re going to learn how to send one WhatsApp message in thirty seconds (using JavaScript!).

    Buckle up, cause here we go.

    GIF of Nicholas Cage in Gone in Sixty Seconds saying "Okay let's ride"

    Prerequisites

    Get your development environment setup

    Create a new directory on your computer, change into it, and initialize a new Node.js project:

    mkdir whatsapp
    cd whatsapp
    npm init -y
    

    Install the Twilio Node Helper Library and the dotenv package:

    npm install twilio dotenv
    

    Create two new files inside your new whatsapp directory:

    touch index.js && touch .env
    

    Open the .env file and add two environment variables to sto …

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  • By Ashley Boucher
    Generate an Access Token for Twilio Chat, Video, and Voice using Twilio Functions accesstoken.png

    Twilio offers client-side software development kits (SDKs) for several of its products including Programmable Video, Programmable Voice, Programmable Chat, and Conversations.

    To make use of these SDKs, you need to generate Access Tokens. As described in the Twilio docs, Access Tokens are short-lived tokens to authenticate Twilio Client SDKs like Voice, Chat and Video. You create them on your server to verify a client's identity and grant access to client API features.

    In this article you’ll learn how to generate an Access Token using Twilio Functions. You’ll be able to replicate this setup again and again in your future projects, allowing you to save time and focus on the fun stuff!

    Prerequisites

    Install dependencies

    Your first goal is to get setup with Twilio Functions. Twilio Functions …

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  • By Ashley Boucher
    Build a Browser-Based Walkie Talkie with React, Twilio Programmable Voice, and Twilio Functions walkietalkie.png

    In this tutorial you’ll learn how to implement in-browser calling in a form reminiscent of a walkie talkie. It's a unique way to connect with other people in real time and bring back some childhood fun! The lessons learned in this post can also be applied to any number of browser-based calling applications.

    To complete this tutorial, you’ll need the following:

    This app has three parts:

    1. A React.js frontend
    2. A Node.js backend running on Twilio Functions
    3. A TwiML application created through the Twilio Console

    The TwiML application is the bridge between the frontend and backend. Because this app involves browser-to-browser calling instead of phone-to-phone calling, you’ll learn how to create a virtual Twilio Device that connects to your TwiML application. This Twilio Device is a …

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  • By Ashley Boucher
    How I Built a Real-Time SMS Translation App (without Setting Up a Backend Server) sms-translation.png

    Having an interest in communicating with a distant cousin in Germany, whose native language I don’t share, I decided to build a real-time SMS translation app so that we could text each other.

    Thanks to Twilio Functions, Twilio Programmable SMS, and the Google Cloud Translate API, this app was easy to build, and it’s super fun to use!

    Here’s the gist: I send a text to my Twilio phone number. A webhook captures this message and makes a POST request with the message details to my Twilio Function. Inside the function, the message body is translated, and the translation is forwarded to my recipient’s phone number. When they reply, this same process happens in reverse.

    Requirements

    I needed the following things before getting started:

    Using the Serverless Toolkit

    For this project, I relied …

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  • By Ashley Boucher
    Build a Humor Hotline with Node.js, Express, and Twilio Programmable Voice humorhotline2.png

    Have you ever just, like, really wanted to hear a joke? Well, even if you haven’t, now you can, all thanks to my Humor Hotline powered by Twilio Programmable Voice!

    But in case you don’t like my jokes, I’ll teach you how to build your own humor hotline in this tutorial. After you finish building this JavaScript-powered voice app, you’ll be able to submit your phone number through the hotline’s website and get a phone call with a joke!

    Prerequisites

    This app uses the following tools and technologies:

    App Overview and Set Up

    On the frontend of the app, there is a simple web form that accepts a phone number.

    When the form is submitted, the data is sent via a POST request to an API endpoint you’ll soon create with Express. At this endpoint, you’ll use Twilio Programmable …

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  • By Ashley Boucher
    Build an SMS Word Guessing Game with Node.js, Express, and Twilio Build an SMS Word Puzzle with Express and Twilio.png

    Have you ever wanted to bring a high tech approach to a low tech game? Well you’re in luck, because with this tutorial you’ll be able to build a basic word puzzle using Twilio Programmable SMS. Forget pen and paper - this is the twenty-first century, and when we do stuff, we do it over text!

    The game works like this: Players try to piece together a word or phrase by guessing individual letters. At first, their only clue is the number of letters in the word. They keep guessing letters until they are able to guess the entire word, or until they run out of lives.

    Screenshot of build your own SMS game play

    Prerequisites

    To follow along with this guide, you’ll need the following tools and software:

    Install …

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  • By Ashley Boucher
    Introducing JS Developer for Technical Content, Ashley Boucher Introducing Ashley Boucher

    GIF with quote "Hey! It's Me!"

    I’m sitting on my friend’s patio, over eight feet away from her, because this is how socializing happens in the time of the coronavirus. She asks me about my new job and I attempt to explain.

    “But what exactly will you be doing?”

    Before responding, I try, in the expanse of only a moment, to distill the complexities and multitudes of both Twilio as a company, and of my new role as a technical editor for the Twilio blog into a single, eloquent, explanatory sentence. I stumble with my words. I wish I could write it down. The truth is, I’m better with a pen and paper. I always have been.

    Writing has been my chosen medium since I first developed the ability to make legible marks, back in kindergarten when my afternoons were spent tracing letters with an oversized pencil.

    A Childhood of Writing

    My first completed body …

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