Anywhere SMS - A simple enough webapp to send SMS
Back in 2012 it was really difficult to find an easy to use and easy to understand solution for texting people in developing countries - people with old mobile phones. So the idea was born. Idea to bring on the market a brand new webapp - Anywhere SMS.
Challenge is set! Use modern tools to make it snap!
I felt that this is good opportunity to test my programming skills in the wild along with playing with trendy and geeky tech. Starting with AngularJS, via Twitter bootstrap and mobile first approach, to Google Appengine (Java) on the backend.
Scalable SMS API embraced by scalable implementation on Google Appengine
Nexmo as a scalable SMS platform has turned to be an excellent bet. Their great documentation and support allowed me to understand SMS technology and to solve problems quickly. Thus I could concentrate on my app.I have been able to preserve scalability of Nexmo using Google appengine's datastore on the backend and appengine frontend.
Focus: SMS-ing to and within developing countries
Our users don't have to be afraid of slashdot effect. And their messages actually get delivered! And it's not only from desktop, also from mobile. Due to my experience travelling in developing countries our user interface also supports Internet Explorer 8, which I was still encountering in internet caffees! (Thus making Anywhere SMS ideal backup solution for your travels.)
Smooth user experience No. 1 priority. How far can we go? There are no limits.
It's no coincidence, the main focus of Anywhere SMS is usability. That's where I still see room for couple of improvement s despite dozens of features so far addressed. Our users are pretty happy with the app, although some of them accused app to be scam and some don't like it's dark background (Do you text to the late night as me? Try it in the dark room:).
MEGA challenge: Privacy. Privacy. Privacy.
Although we have tackled all technical issues we knew about, there is something that is bothering our users. No one likes the fact that he/she has to trust another party with the content of their messages. Our potential customers often accept prices incomparable with the ones we offer because of inevitable systemic risks.
We propose Nexmo would provide public key for message content encryption so that risks of sensitive data leakage can be mitigated in a systemic way. We are aware of that this implies that also spam filtering needs to be done on the part of Nexmo and this can be often application specific thing. We don't know if there is one design that solves all possible issues - something that has to be thought through.
Long live SMS!
Unlike many modern times startups (oh, Anywhere SMS is just a simple webapp, not a startup:) we have managed to function without any security incidents and we hope to provide best user experience on all major platforms in the following years.