Inspiration

The worst part of my morning routine is having to unlock my phone, find safari, look up weather, it's really a pain. And how about having to open your laptop to test some JavaScript code? What about your friends that like dogs more than cats and refuse to let you use their phone to look up cat pictures? Ever wondered what the number 254 really means? How about what tawa means? APYou fixes that.

What it does

Built with the Twilio, APYou allows users to text a query and get a response instantly for a variety of topics. For instance, texting "what's the weather like in Denton" might get the response "Denton is experiencing light rain with a temperature of 36.1°F. Wind speed is 3.6 m/s." SMS messaging is much easier to access than a web browser, and this level of intelligence exponentially speeds up tasks.

How I built it

First, the requests are categorized using advanced language processing techniques. Then, we use a set of publicly available APIs and public data to craft a response that is quick and convenient with enough information to satisfy a query without overloading the user.

To get and send the messages, we use Twilio's service that, in essence, converts a text message to a post request and back.

Challenges I ran into

With the developer focused nature of Twilio, the messaging itself wasn't too hard to implement. Most of the trouble came from configuring a large number of APIs, each with different organization for requests and responses.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We're proud of building a cohesive application that makes many tasks much more efficient and centralized.

What I learned

I learned how to use Twilio and TwiML, along with seven other useful APIs.

What's next for APYou

There is room for improvement in the parsing of queries, which could be accomplished with more time studying the structure of different requests. Other than that, adding more APIs is a big goal, and shouldn't be to hard due to the easy-to-scale nature of APYou.

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