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Tweet2Dial: SMS Messaging with Google Voice and Twitter

We continue our quest for convergence today by adding the missing piece to our recent Tweet2Dial application. In addition to free calls to everyone in the U.S. and Canada as well as complete management of your Asterisk® server from Twitter, today's enhancement lets you send SMS messages to any SMS device or cellphone in the U.S. and Canada using simple Twitter messages. And, best of all, Tweet2Dial is free and runs on almost any Asterisk or Linux server as well as every Mac on the planet.

Twitter already provides some basic SMS integration that allows you to use SMS messages to send tweets. You also can opt to receive some Twitter messages via SMS whenever your friends post a new Tweet. But Twitter's SMS functionality is Twitter-centric meaning that both you and your friend must be Twitter users to take advantage of the SMS enhancements. Tweet2Dial adds the missing piece so that you can send SMS messages to anyone with an SMS-capable device in the U.S. and Canada whether or not they have a Twitter account. After all, that's what convergence is all about!

If you've already installed Tweet2Dial, we'll walk you through upgrading your existing setup in this article. If you haven't previously installed Tweet2Dial, then all you need to do is read the updated, original article which now includes coverage of the SMS functionality. Keep in mind that current Twitter API call limitations still limit you to one call or SMS message or Asterisk CLI command per minute. We'll remove this limitation once Twitter expands the hourly API call restriction.

Upgrading Tweet2Dial. For those that already have installed Tweet2Dial, here are the steps to add the SMS functionality. Just log into your server as root and issue the following commands. For Mac users, there is no root account. Just open a Terminal window while logged in with the user account used to set up Tweet2Dial initially and skip the cd /root command below:

cd /root
mv tweet2dial.php tweet2dial2.php
wget http://pbxinaflash.net/source/twitter/tweet2dial.tgz
tar zxvf tweet2dial.tgz
rm tweet2dial.tgz

Now open your old Tweet2Dial application (renamed to tweet2dial2.php) and write down your existing settings. Then edit tweet2dial.php and plug your old settings back in to restore access to your Google Voice account, your Asterisk server (if desired), and your Twitter friends. That's it! You're finished.

Sending SMS Messages with Twitter. To send new SMS messages, you'll use the same scenario outlined in the original article to place free phone calls. Just send a direct message to your secondary Twitter account. Only those that you have authorized as friends can send direct messages to this account so it's as secure as you want it to be. The Twitter Direct Message syntax for an SMS message looks like this where 6781234567 is the 10-digit cellphone number or Google Voice number of the SMS recipient:

SMS:6781234567:Here is a sample SMS message

Any replies to an SMS message which you send using Twitter will be forwarded to the email address that you used to set up your Google Voice account. Enjoy!

Special Thanks. Our tip of the hat again goes to the Pygooglevoice Development Team: JEIhrig, justquick, jacob.feisley, and nagle. Without their pioneering work, there would be no Tweet2Dial, no Orgasmatron V, and no Googlified Messaging for Asterisk. Terrific code! Thank you.

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  1. Beginning shortly,Twitter will require OAuth authentication to use the Twitter API. This will temporarily break this app, but we’re working on it.

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