We as college students realized that a big part of our academic experience was missing. We love to read books for fun, and learn about things that we are not formally taught. However, the demands of college life makes it really difficult to read something for fun.
On the other hand, we saw all of our friends glued to their phones. In addition, we found that reading in snippets is much easier than reading it in bulk. We wondered whether we can read our books via text messages. And that is how Gready started.
What it does
Gready is a service that sends you your book via text messages. You can upload your ebook in .epub or .mobi format, and it will text you the book in chunks. The user can set how many words it wants at a given text, and how often it wants these texts. The user can, in addition, text 'next' to get the next snippet and type "bye" or "stop" to stop the service.
How we built it
We built a web site to get user details such as phone, user name, book etc. Then using a backend server, we just parse the books and store user details into a database. Then using Twilio api, we send periodic messages.
Challenges we ran into
We faced problems parsing the ebooks to divide into chunks. There are many variations of formats which made parsing difficult. We also had trouble getting the text messages working.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our demo works. We asked people to try it and they are really excited.
What we learned
Allot more time for testing and bug fixing.
What's next for Gready
Scaling the app, getting it out to more users.