WhyI'm making this thread to gauge interest and demand for a Light Novel reader app with a built in dictionary lookup feature (similar in functionality to Rikai(sama)/(kun)/(chan), with support for inflections), and passive SRS system, for Android/iOS and maybe Web/Windows. So far I've been unable to find a really nice solution for reading light novels on my mobile devices, which is something I'm really interested in being able to do. I've had a quick look on the google play store and the best I could find was something called Jade Reader, but it seems like a dead project, it hasn't been updated since 2014, and a lot of using are reporting that it doesn't save the last page you were on when you close the app, also it only supports HTML/TXT files. I've tried using my Kobo eReader with a hacked ja -> en dictionary. But so far this hasn't been a very pleasant experience, highlighting text is very difficult/laggy/glitchy, and once you've managed to select the text, it takes about 4 seconds for the definition to pop up, it is very frustrating to use. Also, there is no inflection support, or word auto select (the first to last characters have to be highlighted manually). The no inflection support is a real problem, as it means you often have to resort to using a separate dictionary anyway, in order to lookup a word (the inflection screws up the search). I don't know how amazon products compare yet, as I have not tested them, I know that they do have an official ja -> en dictionary, I'm not sure if it supports inflections though.
Main FeaturesSupport for common ebook formats like epub/mobi.
Rikaisama like dictionary lookup - something like, tap on the first character and it highlights the word and shows definition/form.
Integration with WaniKani to show furigana for words you haven't learned yet.
A way to add words to a known words list, on top of WaniKani import.
A passive SRS system, that doesn't force you to review, but will prompt you to recall a word if you tap on a known word to view the dictionary definition.
Some notes on this last feature: I often find when I am using Rikaikun to practice reading, that I rely on it way too much, instead of trying to recall words from the Kanji characters, I will just hover my mouse over it, glance at the reading, and then read the english definitions. This is certainly not conducive to learning Japanese as words are quickly forgotten this way and not retained for any length of time. In fact, I often go back to reread a sentence from the start, only to find that I've already forgotten all the words I looked up using rikaikun before.
Possible Extra FeaturesCloud sync for syncing book titles added to your library on any device - may create copyright issues, could probably fix by encrypting all data server side, would probably need to charge a sub fee to support infrastructure.
Cloud sync for read positions - would probably need sub fee.
Cloud sync for known words list - would probably need sub fee.
Ability to add notes to known words.
Ability to add notes/annotations to selected text.
Ability to easily add translations to sentences (like a little button at the end of each sentence, like there is on Satori Reader Beta) - This could also be used later for interesting machine learning applications, if you agree to share data with me.
Pull title directly from Kobo app/account - Don't know if this is possible yet, or violates any user agreements, I know that some (but not all) kobo ebooks have DRM (as far as I know I can't legally do this with Kindle ebooks as all their books are DRM protected)
Why not Open SourceI want to say up front that if I were to make this, I wouldn't make it entirely free. I would probably follow something like what NHK easy news does and make the app free with ads (a reasonably unobtrusive ad banner at the bottom), but you can pay to remove them, and unlock extra features. The reason for this is so that the project doesn't end up like Jade Reader, essentially dead and no longer developed. And also because I want to do a good job (Also I'm poor and have no money, my only skill is being a programmer.....)
Pay modelSo I'm thinking that the best pay model would probably be something like, free with ads (unobtrusive banner at the bottom), and none of the features I listed under extra features above. For the pay model I think something like what the Pomotodo app does might be a good model. What they do is allow you to pick your own subscription fee (pay what you want model) from a range of say $2 to however much you want to pay per month.
Let me know what you guys think.