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Twilio launched “Twilio Client” for mobile today, giving mobile developers an easy way to introduce calling features into their iOS applications.
“There are a bunch of apps [that allow you to make calls] today” said Twilio’s director of product management Thomas Schiavone. “What Twilio is doing is letting people make a call as a feature of the app.”
What Sciavone is suggesting is that it’s so much work to build an app that lets you call out, that it might as well be its own app like Skype or Google Voice. But Twilio wants communications code to be accessible enough for any developer to use.
Twilio Client was originally introduced to Web developers in July. Using this version, a Web developer is able to integrate phone calls into web apps with just three lines of Java script. These phone calls were device agnostic and allowed for calling between browsers, traditional phones, and the mobile web. The iOS version acts very similarly, making it easy for developers to insert the objective-C (iOS) code into their application and let Twilio do the telecommunications heavy lifting.
When a user makes a call from the application, it is sent to Twilio, which deals with the carriers and delivers the call to its destination. It is meant to be incredibly easy, even for companies that don’t have telecommunications-savvy developers, but do want a calling feature.
“The key thing that we’ve seen from our experience in the past few years is once you let people who aren’t communications developers use communications in different ways, you get some really interesting use cases,” said Schiavone.
After its launch, the Web-focused Twilio client became popular with customer service and call center web apps. The iOS version has struck a cord with the same industry, inspiring RingDNA to create a call center application for “remote agents.” That is, the application ran on an iPad and became the person’s virtual desk. He could put on his headset, take calls, and get information all from the mobile device. Schiavone suggests gaming app developers should include it in mobile games to give them a more console-like feel.
Twilio plans to expand the offering to Android later in the year.
VentureBeat is holding its second annual Mobile Summit this April 2-3 in Sausalito, Calif. The invitation-only event will debate the five key business and technology challenges facing the mobile industry today, and participants — 180 mobile executives, investors, and policymakers — will develop concrete, actionable solutions that will shape the future of the mobile industry. You can find out more at our Mobile Summit site.