This week Amazon announced improvements to the Simple Notification Service (SNS). The new features integrate SMS messaging (ie. the ubiquitous text messaging system found on your mobile phone). With these new features, application developers can integrate real time notifications via SMS into their applications. This has many uses for developer operations (server event notifications) and also real time messaging features for custom applications.
Here is an excerpt from the announcement:
We are excited to announce that Amazon Simple Notification Service now supports SMS text messages as a new method for notifications. SMS (also known as Short Message Service) is one of the most widely used messaging applications in the world. With support for SMS text messaging, Amazon SNS messages can be delivered to SMS-enabled cell phones and smart phones.
Amazon SNS is a web service that makes it easy to send notifications from the cloud to applications or people. It provides developers with a highly scalable, flexible, and cost-effective way to publish messages and have them immediately delivered to any number of subscribers or other applications. Previously Amazon SNS supported message deliveries via http, email or to Amazon SQS queues.
Notifications can now be sent as text messages to cell phones, smart phones or any other device that supports SMS. Amazon CloudWatch users who monitor their applications running on AWS services can receive timely updates for any event of interest or alarm they set. Existing Amazon SNS users who receive content via email can now also have that content delivered to their mobile device. SMS notifications with Amazon SNS can also be used to relay time-critical application events to mobile applications and devices. Mobile applications increasingly deliver and integrate real-time information from a variety of sources, including weather, traffic, social-media updates, and even multi-player games. Developers can easily integrate mobile applications with Amazon SNS today, to send messages and receive notifications over SMS. This new Amazon SNS feature can be easily accessed from the AWS Management Console available at: http://console.aws.amazon.com. While Amazon SNS is supported in all AWS regions, SMS notification support is currently supported in the US-East region, and will be available in other AWS regions and countries in the coming months.