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  • By Marcos Placona
    Build a smart doorbell with Twilio and Android Things smart-doorbell

    Working from home and being an avid Marilyn Manson fan means I usually miss out when someone’s knocking on my door. We have a doorbell but it’s not nearly as effective as the noise cancelling capabilities on my headphones.

    My headphone is paired to my phone which still means I will miss someone at the door, but never any calls. How about we build a smart doorbell that rings my phone when someone’s at the door?


    We will use Node.js to create a backend so we can interact with Twilio and build an Android application that will run on a Raspberry Pi and will serve as our smart doorbell.

    What we’ll need

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  • By Marcos Placona
    Send and Receive SMS messages with Kotlin aKa6oBT_BZo9m6oFFZifuN22qSbA6Xp6Sd0KpDYo1aqghh0I0qsLch7I8sAmox-J4bEca3tPi3XtPWjb_6CjYTCPdlJdcBIHIIbtXyrs7MKqLy_TNvWiMYJ9De3zBZgE5meXwSh5-1

    Kotlin is the new type-inferred hotness in the world of JVM languages giving you a single unified language for building Android, server-side and even JavaScript apps. If you’re a Java developer then giving Kotlin a spin is simple.

    Video: How to Send and Receive SMS messages with Kotlin

    But you can’t copy the code from the video, so you can download it from here or just follow along below:

    Getting started with Kotlin on the Server

    We’ll be using IntelliJ and Gradle for dependency management throughout this article. With a few extra steps you should also be able to use a different IDE and dependency manager.

    In IntelliJ create a new Gradle project and add Kotlin (Java) as the library.

    We …

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  • By Marcos Placona
    Build a Magic: The Gathering SMS price checker with Twilio and .NET CORE Build a Magic: The Gathering SMS price checker with Twilio and .NET CORE

    I have been a Magic: The Gathering player for many years now and during my travels I always enjoy partaking in local drafts.

    Most Magic stores require the player to be a member in order to let them use their wifi. Because I usually only ever go to stores I don’t have a membership, I always have to rely on my flakey phone’s data to buy or trade cards when I don’t know their price.

    I wish there was a way I could get card prices without having to rely on my phone’s internet. Let’s build an app to do just that using Twilio and .NET CORE.

    You can download the source code here if you don’t want to go through all the steps. Or just try it out by texting a card name to:

    UK: +44 1543 MAGIC5 ( +44 1543 624425)
    US: +1 646-84MAGIC ( +1 (646) …

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  • By Marcos Placona
    Google Spreadsheets and .NET Core spreadsheets_dotnetcore

    You don’t always need a fully functional database for every project. If you’re prototyping and your data model is still changing, chances are you could use a Google Spreadsheet for easier and quicker set up.

    In this tutorial we will use Google’s API client library for working with Sheets in .NET Core.

    If you would like to see a full integration of Twilio APIs in a .NET Core application then checkout this free 5-part video series. It's separate from this blog post tutorial but will give you a full run down of many APIs at once.

    Get access to your spreadsheets

    You can use any Google Sheet you already have lying around for this project, but if you don’t already have one, make a copy of this spreadsheet of contact information for US legislators. Ian Webster used this same data to build his Twilio application that makes it easier …

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  • By Marcos Placona
    Getting started with Android Things Getting started with Android Things

    Android Things makes it way easier to build IoT applications using the Android Framework and the tools you already know. Let’s have a look at how to flash Android Things to a Raspberry Pi 3 and build our first application.

    Our tools

    We’ll use the following tools throughout the tutorial:

    I have completed this tutorial using a Mac, so the software described will likely not work on Windows or Linux, but you should be able to find equivalents if you’re on a different OS.

    Flashing the Android Things image

    Extract …

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  • By Marcos Placona
    Listen to your Android apps heartbeat with Stetho vlVYBEfZ2FAAREL2AGeaL8sk2vEpCp6NKRelirgGwN_UzNwX7jRSy0xVsG1K-zQ6IsgPVxvD7N42qykFmheukSc5uAlMKsoI8D8uHUNHjGAnoTRqJqWJnRpyqmBsL3JNYIphk_x3

    I probably work with the web as much as I do with mobile. On the web, developer tools like the Chrome Developer Tools offer more than just a code debugger.

    The network monitors and layout visualisers make it easier to not just see the code executing, but offer a more holistic debugging experience. I missed this one-stop-shop experience when it came to fixing bugs in my Android apps.

    The Android Monitor doesn’t give me all the things I need for checking network traffic or the ability to view my app’s database or view hierarchy. In this blog post I will show you how to use Chrome Developer Tools to debug your Android applications.

    Our tools

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  • By Marcos Placona
    An easy way to receive an SMS message with C# and Twilio abGDePnfoTx4bsSslpAt6wXsVKsaZZcH4jtmcKmU04VNaW6CFJJheJhOTiYUDgoPl7geigbfOk8hw_UNr-GTzhPw0i4JCesZKKmNfoSRob41s_pIvKd7FRRlu1-gDuzQJYaKnEeo

    I already showed you how to send an SMS message with C# in 30 seconds. Today I’m going to show you how to receive an SMS message with C# and Twilio. Here’s all the code you’ll need.

    using System.Web.Mvc;
    using Twilio.TwiML;
    using Twilio.TwiML.Mvc;
    namespace ReceiveSms.Controllers
        public class SmsController : TwilioController
            // POST: Sms/Message
            public ActionResult Message(string From, string Body)
                var twiml = new TwilioResponse();
                var message = twiml.Message($"Hello {From}. You said {Body}");
                return TwiML(message);

    If you’d like to see an explanation of how the …

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  • By Marcos Placona
    Ahoy! Get your boss on board SIGNAL London ZJyT9G8vTJZiZsFO5XlDJQZVZqwzzL70ItC9Z8e3MXxr4Tfho8a52idlIbSq761Ce-14eFwX0NbwnW8WhVbNQSGdvL-HljKvCx0HpwIofL-2sdR9_tw9ifZSvJFowSch2h173bY0

    In just under 5 weeks on September 20th we’ll bring SIGNAL to London for its first European chapter.

    Last week, Phil talked about why he’s excited about SIGNAL London and mentioned some of the amazing talks we will have that day.

    Now, I know I’ve said this before but some bosses just need a little convincing before they can make a decision whether they should send you to a conference or not.

    So here are three reasons why your boss should send you along with all the other developers at your company.

    At SIGNAL London you will:

    1. Learn best practices directly from other developers like you
    2. Discover new technologies and tools
    3. Add voice, video, messaging, and chat to your tool belt

    But that’s not all. We also have business content so even if you’re not a full-time developer you will still benefit and:

    1. Hear from companies like ServiceNow, ING, Google …
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  • By Marcos Placona
    Exploring the vastness of the Realm, a cross-platform mobile database H_dJY48ao0Rdvt9WElZz9ej36jhUWnnkHzr51pdiDe_c-a-Htrr4ov5QgQ72KLTuhy01F92BME1BBx2Wa59MlXg0u7ty6_FSlPzVSRPLOHy82LENnkc00t4uCXTb7WUqXmJmBzt4

    If you’re an Android developer chances are you’ve used SQLite for internal storage in your mobile apps and know how painful it is to set it up.

    Realm is a cross-platform mobile database engine that aims to provide developers with a mobile-first engine, super powered with fluent interfaces and field annotations. Here’s an example of how easy it is to use:

    public class Note extends RealmObject {
        public String mText
    Note note = new Note(); note.mText = "My awesome note";
    Realm realm = Realm.getDefaultInstance();

    Let’s look at how to build an application that stores your notes in a Realm database …

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  • By Marcos Placona
    How to add push notifications to Android t_3uIdWRwKl2jWx2HWpR25RUdhElEBaTolo0n9bi_oQJ5YDgKILOCety6JPZRvUEoINAbGVb84aB6kNs9McbIZtYTDvCF7z7fjSgkYF6tgzmMOLLOFqD_-tAMc0QeNX7u6GDGDFt

    Having the right engagement strategy within a mobile app has never been more important since users expect your app to provide them with useful and timely information.

    With Notify, the new Twilio notifications API you can send your users real-time push notifications even when the app is not open.

    Let’s build an Android app that can receive and react to push notifications sent from the server.

    Our tools

    Backend Configuration

    To get our backend server going, we first need …

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