March 2016

Bitville helps Worldreader & Opera to win top prize at GSMA GLOMO awards

Worldreader Mobile, a web-based reading solution for mobile phones that Bitville built for Worldreader, has won the Best Mobile Innovation for Education award at the 2016 GSMA Global Mobile awards in Barcelona. Today, millions of readers use it every month to access thousands of free books.

Worldreader, a global nonprofit dedicated to enabling everyone to become a reader, teamed up with Opera Software to make books available not only to smartphone users, but also to the hundreds of millions of people who still use inexpensive, older mobile phones, all around the world. Worldreader has more than 28,000 books to share, and over 350 million people world-wide use Opera Mini, so it made good sense to combine the services.

Worldreader needed a technical provider to create a solution that would make their books comfortable to read, even on small displays, and in a format that would be easily accessible for older as well as newer phones.

A highly-effective and useful platform-agnostic compression system, providing social development opportunities – borne out by the huge market take-up.

- Judge's statement

Bitville had optimized user interfaces for Opera before, and so had the skills and knowledge to design and optimize user experiences for the Opera browser in this case. Bitville worked with Worldreader to create a cloud-based web app that makes books available so that even people with high latency, low-bandwidth connections can still enjoy reading on their phones. Senior Application Developer Juha Pulliainen says, “It was great that we could make it work across lots of different technologies – even systems that might be ten years old. It's not something that a lot of companies can do.”

The award-winning result is bringing more and more books to increasing numbers of readers around the world, with more than 2.5 million visitors per month, as of this writing. The service continues to be developed, and is growing constantly in popularity.