My primary purpose for owning a phone is to message — God forbid I need to make a call! Messaging just works, and Telegram takes it to another level, which I’ve detailed in a recent post. Bots and all the possibilities they provide are one of my favorite features, and today I’m sharing three of my favorite chat bots.
This is the one that kicked it all off for me. With its simple, analog elegance, it is more efficient than any other reminder application I’ve used. It showed me how powerful chatbots could be, inspiring me to begin building bots myself. About a year ago I published a dedicated post for SkeddyBot.
This is an official Telegram bot, which I presume means that it was developed and released by the core dev team, and its degree of polish shows it. What I appreciate is that it allows me to use one less app, both on my phone and when working in a browser.
Authorization is quick and easy via link to Google login. Emails come in as messages, if it’s long you see a preview with an option to show more. You respond to the email by simply replying to the message, and if there are more than one correspondents it will ask if you’d like to reply to sender or all. Marking as read, archiving, trashing, and even blacklisting are all available as inline buttons. Even downloading attachments is available within GmailBot.
In the early days of Instant View, Telegram’s support for Medium links was a primary factor in my decision to use this platform for blogging personally and professionally (I’m a dork). Since then, they’ve continued to gobble up more and more of the web, assisted by allowing anyone to submit templates and encouraged by regular competitions with generous cash prizes.
For all those publications that aren’t in the Instant View ecosystem yet, there’s this fantastic Russian chatbot. It was a Eureka! moment when I realized how it works: it parses text into a Telegraph article and sends back a formatted message with the link hidden in the last word of the title. Since Telegraph is Telegram’s own uber-mininal publishing platform, it has naturally been IV-compatible from the very start. Some blogs I regularly read that are obnoxiously formatted, ad-ridden and block RSS apps from displaying the full article, I share with a couple clicks directly from my Feedly preview stream to this reader bot. As a service to friends on Telegram, I do this with almost every article I share.
There are some limitations, such as publications that require logging in to to see the full article. I imagine there is opportunity here to subscribe to the most popular publishers and build authentication into the process. Then again, it’s usually The New York Times or similar newspapers that don’t matter much pay-walling, so this could be a lot of work for not a lot of reward…