Cloud Functions are Google’s implementation of the serverless architecture pattern which abstracts away much of the complexity of scaling and running code in the cloud. They’re basically small bits of JavaScript that can be called by other services or triggered by events, but can also be used to send email, process images or store data in BigQuery, just to name a few things you can do with them. Check out this list of 5 cool things you can do with Cloud Functions if you’re interested in learning more about what they have to offer!

1) Schedule a text message to your parents every day while you are on vacation

When you are on vacation, but are still busy with work, text messages are a great way to keep in touch with your family and/or coworkers. A time-triggered function can be written to send a message at 6:00 PM every day that reads Hi mom! I am having a great time. For example, you could send an email or Slack message before leaving for vacation to create an HTTP endpoint that responds by saving your name and number for later use. The SMS API makes it simple to programmatically send text messages using HTTP requests. Have fun!

2) Generate thumbnails of images

Google Cloud Platform offers a number of services and tools, including API, App Engine, BigQuery, Storage, and more. One feature you might not know about is Cloud Functions. It lets you create JavaScript functions that are triggered by events from a variety of sources (e.g., on Pub/Sub or change to Google Drive files). You can even run your functions locally for testing and debugging. Here’s how to generate thumbnails for images stored in Cloud Storage using a few lines of code

3) Send reminders before an event starts

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably received notifications on your phone reminding you to pick up your child after school. Google provides a service that sends such reminders in case you forget to set one yourself. By using App Maker (the Google-made development platform), any developer can send a reminder to any Android user with just a few lines of code. One example is RemindMe! by RedPocket, which sends out messages 15 minutes before an event starts and then again as it begins to let you know about time changes or cancellations so that attendees can adjust accordingly.

4) Control your smarthome devices with your voice

Imagine telling your smarthome devices to turn on as you walk into your house, or turning off a light before getting into bed. While you can do these things with a physical remote control, a growing number of smarthome devices have voice recognition built in and can listen for commands via Google Home or Amazon Alexa. If you want to start controlling your smarthome with your voice, look for products that support IFTTT (If This Then That) recipes. IFTTT is an app-based service that lets you build chains of reactions called recipes. Say something like Alexa, trigger my ‘goodnight’ recipe and voila: All of your devices are turned off without any effort from you—and without wiring anything up yourself.

5) Send emergency messages to relatives when you get into trouble

We often go on adventures alone or forget to let someone know where we’re headed. This could be dangerous in an emergency, so Google has built a feature that allows you to set up messages for up to five people (or one person five times). When you trigger it with a help command from your Android phone, your chosen contacts will receive a text and email alerting them that you need help. They’ll even get your GPS coordinates so they can find you as quickly as possible. So if you’re alone somewhere remote and have no reception, don’t hesitate—just use your voice!


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Categories: CloudGCP


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