Messaging services such as Slack and Facebook Messenger are just a few places you can play with bots, programs that provide a service within an app or platform. With Botlist, you can find a bot to fit your needs for a variety of services, including bots that will shave some seconds off your commute, help you convert files, and keep you on your diet by helping you document your dishes.
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The Forksy chatbot, compatible with Facebook Messenger, Viber and Telegram, acts as a food diary, prompting you to catalogue your culinary choices. Forksy starts by asking you some questions to estimate a proper calorie limit for your body.
Every few hours, you'll get a message from Forksy asking what you ate or drank. It keeps all your choices in its food diary, and has an optional "coaching" feature in the works that will let you speak to a trained nutritionist.
Using Poncho's weather service means you can check on the current forecast from within Slack, Facebook Messenger, Kik and Viber. Just ask it about the weather, include your zip code, and instantly receive a weather report in a single, snarky sentence.
Poncho has a few more tricks up its sleeve. You can ask it the kind of hair day you're bound to have based on the weather or get an hour-by-hour forecast for the next six hours. If you're a New Yorker, you can ask it the status of whatever train line you'd like, giving you a quick heads up on whether there's a delay that could keep you stuck in bad weather instead of your cosy office.
Last month, Facebook announced its new chatbot platform. Jarvis is one of the early entrants, allowing you to set reminders with a chat conversation directly inside Facebook Messenger.
With Calbot, you can add events to your calendar straight from your Slack channel or email service. It supports Google and Microsoft calendars, and can handle multiple calendars if you've got them. You can add appointments and tasks to other calendars by appending the name of your calendar to your request.
In addition to adding events you can add reminders to your calendars, list the events of any day or week, and add locations and email addresses. If you're a traditionalist, Calbot works through your email service, so you can send your event or request your schedule through emails and have Calbot add them to the calendar.
Vidibot makes video conversion as simple as pasting a link. The Facebook Messenger bot returns MP4 and MP3 download links for whatever YouTube or Facebook video link you provide. Vidibot provides downloadable links in just a few seconds. I was able to download a 13-minute YouTube video in under five minutes after sharing the link with the bot.