How to save Mum's WhatsApp photos using Python and Twilio

My mum has gone through a phones in the last few years. Not because they don’t work necessarily but because the storage hasn’t been enough and making the transition from a burner to a smartphone.

There was also a RAM issue, as a lot of low-entry smartphones come with bloatware and it’s a nightmare to get rid of if you can’t root them. On top of all that, WhatsApp photos were taking up most of the space on her phone.

Well, that doesn’t seem like an isolated issue as Ana Paula Gomes wrote a handy guide to saving her mom’s pictures using Python, Flask, Dropbox and Twilio.

In it, she goes through the process of creating a WhatsApp chatbot that backs up her mother’s images with the help of a few APIs and the Flask framework for Python.

What is Twilio?

Twilio is a cloud comms platform that lets developers make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages, and perform other communication functions using web APIs.

To create the chatbot, you’ll need:

  • Python 3.6 or newer
  • Flask
  • ngrok
  • A smartphone with an active phone number
  • WhatsApp (obviously)
  • A Twilio account
  • A Dropbox account
  • Someone who can program it all – unless that’s you’re mum in which case she’d have already found a solution this by now and she’d be even more awesome than usual cos she’s your mum anyway

It might seem like overkill for some, since WhatsApp allows you to backup your data with a Google account but this is the cooler solution. Plus, for anyone learning Python, this is a very practical way of doing it. And you’re helping a parent. Instant brownie points for you!

(Btw, this isn’t sponsored or endorsed by Twilio. I just love Python and my mum.)

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