Google simplifies integration of SMS and voice with App Engine

New Python and Java libraries allow for integration with Twilio's cloud-based communications platform

Google is hoping to make it easier for developers to integrate SMS or voice communications in applications running on the company's App Engine platform.

Working with Twilio, Google has created native Python and Java libraries for working with Twilio APIs. The integration allows developers to start building and adding voice and SMS features to their apps straight away, the company said in a blog post.

The integration shows how far the industry has come thanks to cloud-based communication services, according to Twilio.

"Five years ago, if you told your IT department you needed to build and scale a communications app in a week, they'd laugh -- maybe even quit. Today, we have cloud-powered tools that allow developers and entrepreneurs to do this in a matter of days," the company said in its own blog post.

The Google blog post shows how developers can add a few lines of code to send a text message from App Engine using Python. For developers that want more inspiration, there are also a number of different sample apps and code based on Python as well as Java to take a closer look at. In addition to that, Google has published a developer guide.

Twilio's platform consists of three parts: Voice, SMS and Client. The first two allow applications to make regular phone calls and send text messages, as well as receive them. While Client enables VoIP calls from any phone, tablet, or browser. It supports WebRTC, a technology that will make it possible for developers to add voice and video communications in their Web-based applications. It is being standardized by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) on an API level and at the protocol level by the IETF.

To get started developers need to sign up for App Engine and get a Twilio account. Twilio is a pay-as-you-go service that in the U.S. charges from US$0.02 per minute for outbound calls, while sending texts cost from $0.01 without volume discounts. New users get 2,000 free text message or voice minutes, according to Google.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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