Author Archives: Kunal Batra

About Kunal Batra

Meet Kunal, Developer Evangelist at-large for SendGrid and home-grown New Jersey hacker. He previously ran General Machines, which developed Deaftel - a phone service for the deaf that converts voice to text and text back into voice over a phone call. Since March 2013, Kunal has been working as a Developer Evangelist at SendGrid, helping enable developers to get the tools and resources they need to make awesome, creative stuff.

Kunal Batra on Twitter

Articles Posted by Kunal


Make Your Mac Speak Incoming Emails

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There are a lot of great use cases and business applications of our Inbound Parse Webhook. But sometimes you just want to hack for fun. Since the Parse Webhook is interactive and real-time, it’s a good one for hacking. In this blog post we are going to mashup some Python, the Parse Webhook, ngrok and osascript to make your Mac speak incoming emails. Set Up Incoming Emails The general idea is: receive an email, have your machine speak the subject. To achieve the first part, we need to receive emails in our application, which is easy with the Parse Webhook.

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How to Get SMS Alerts When a User Opens an Email

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Has there ever been a time when you wanted to know if someone opened up an important email? Maybe you want to get a real-time alert when people mark your email as spam. Or perhaps get immediately notified if a user clicks on your email’s unsubscribe link. This is possible with our Event Webhook plus an SMS API of your choosing. In this example, I will showcase a small Python program that will receive event data from SendGrid and SMS alert a user with the Twilio API. Easy as One, Two, Three Log in to SendGrid and go to your

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Control Home Lighting with the Parse Webhook

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Our Parse webhook lets your application receive inbound email. The common use cases for this tend to be web app related. It’s awesome for creating applications like a support ticketing system or receiving data for a social or content management site. In this post, I’ll share how well it also works to control web-enabled hardware. Specifically, I’ll be using inbound email to control home lighting with the Philips Hue light bulbs. For the next few days, anyone can control the lights in my apartment and I’ve set up a livestream (embedded above) to show the current status. There is a

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Receive Inbound Email with MeteorJS

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Meteor is a relatively new JavaScript framework that is becoming quite popular. It lets you build real-time web apps rapidly. My fellow developer evangelist @scottmotte has already written about how you send email with Meteor. In this blog post, I want to expand on this and showcase how your Meteor application can receive inbound email, as well. Route Requests with Meteorite To receive email, you can use SendGrid’s inbound Parse Webhook. This will POST new emails to any URL you specify. Since we want to receive email with Meteor, we need to add a Meteor route. Once you have Meteor

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Check Spam Using the Parse Webhook

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One of my favorite parts of SendGrid is our Parse Webhook. It’s a great tool that enables your applications to receive incoming email. One of the lesser known features of the API is the spam_report and spam_score parameters. Every time your application receives an email through the Parse Webhook, SendGrid uses SpamAssassin and generates a score and report based on the content. We then post those pieces of data to your application along with the other parts of the email. This is useful to discard emails that are spam and avoid your application from having to process junk mail. Try

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How to Hide Text in Email Attachments

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Take a look at the two photos above. Do you notice any differences between them? The image on the left is just an ordinary .jpeg file. While the photo on the right has a secret message encoded into it: The first 5 people to email kunal@sendgrid.com with their… To get the rest of that message make sure to download that image and follow the instructions below on how to do decode. This also works on .wav files as well. Take a listen to both of them and see if you can figure out which one has the secret message encoded

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Need a Mobile Backend? Try OpenShift.

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Are you in the process of building a mobile app or have created one in which you require some information or data to be stored off device? Do you need a server-side component to store stats, high scores, or maybe even location-based information? Perhaps you have users who need to interact with each other. Certainly there are situations in which you can have applications that can be self-contained (the calculator app probably doesn’t store anything on the server) but most modern apps are not going to be like that. When you’re exchanging a lot of data it makes life a

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