With the passage of time, the process of mobile app development has transformed dramatically. New and advanced features have come to the surface in recent years. Mobile apps have become more complex in terms of functionalities and integrations. Users now demand biometric fingerprint unlock on apps, geolocation, social preferences, and more. To achieve all this flawlessly, API, or Application Programming Interface, plays a major role. If you’re planning to launch your first app, you need to outsource your app project to the best mobile app development company to help you with API integrations.
What is API?
Before we begin with why API is so paramount in app development, let us first understand what API is. API is the abbreviated form of Application Programming Interface, a software-to-software interface or intermediary that allows applications to interact with each other and exchange data. It is nothing but an API through which you access Facebook, make calls, or check weather updates.
Put simply, applications in a mobile device access and share data with one another by using APIs to ensure a smooth and user-friendly mobile experience. API is the pillar of the mobile world because it defines the way how users interact with technology.
Through a set of protocols, API allows the applications to communicate with each other without user intervention. API is associated with SDK, and both work together to make the app development process successful. SDK is the Software Development Kit comprising different development tools that aid in the design and development of apps in a specific framework and development platform.
If you go a little deep, API is that part of mobile app development used to feed information. Whereas the set of tools in SDK is used for building the app.
Significance of API in Mobile App Development
APIs hold great importance in B2B as they have become critical in integrating data flows between users and applications.
Saves Time – APIs save a lot of time for the developers by minimizing the need for coding in an application. Since APIs are easily available, mobile app developers can use them in their apps and streamline the process of app functions. For instance, in gaming apps, developers use Google Drive or Dropbox APIs, which enable the users to store and save their current game session in the cloud and retrieve it anytime to continue playing.
Convenient – APIs make it convenient for users to sign up on any app without creating a new user profile. For instance, social media apps Facebook, and Linkedin, allow users to open an account by using their existing google email account. Also, various on-demand apps provide options to users for creating an account by using their Facebook profile. All this has become possible because of the presence of APIs in mobile apps.
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Provides new functionalities – With the help of APIs, mobile apps can offer users advanced features and functions. Particularly, they use existing API services of the web with the purpose of enriching the user experiences. One of the best examples of this point is Yelp using Google Maps API. Yelp is a popular review platform used by internet users to find the best restaurants nearby based on customer reviews and recommendations from other Yelp users. It uses Google Maps API to provide you with the exact location of the restaurants you are looking for.
Enhances flexibility – Almost every application, these days, lets the user share information from one application or social media platform to another. A video from Facebook, Instagram, etc., can be shared directly with your contacts in WhatsApp because of APIs.
Social Engagement – APIs fuel user engagement on social media platforms by connecting one platform with the other. Users can now post comments and share posts and videos without leaving the app. Connecting APIs also allows you to publish reviews on the app directly without creating a username or a user profile. In short, it promotes social engagement among mobile users.
Eases the process of App Testing – APIs are time-savers! Besides speeding up the app development process, it aids in automating the testing procedure. Test automation through API ensures the apps are bug-free and meet the client’s requirements – both quality and expectation-wise.
Widely Used Examples of API
Every activity we do from our mobile phones – from uploading photos to booking a flight, listening to music, streaming videos, and playing games; everything is done by APIs. Plus, it is because of API that mobile technology is advancing so fast, and integrating new features has become so easy for app developers.
Here are some best examples of API in mobiles in our daily lives.
Social Media Apps – APIs in social media apps, especially Facebook, are accessible to marketers to make the most of the extensive information available about the users on the social media network. They extract data from the information and analyze it to predict user trends, their choices and behavior. APIs help marketers in delivering targeted and personalized marketing.
Weather Snippets – Google has its own weather API that helps users to check weather updates easily and also get weather forecasts for the upcoming 5-6 days. When anyone searches for weather information on Google, it will show the weather update details in your location at the top dedicated space of the Google search results.
Video Streaming Apps – Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. use API so that developers can access the data and information of the users, such as age, gender, watch history, movie ratings, genre preferences, and search history. By using this information, these apps offer personalized recommendations to users and enhance their app experience.
Flight or train booking – Have you ever wondered how travel booking sites bring you the list of cheapest flight or train fares? It is through third-party APIs. These travel and flight booking sites go through thousands of flight & train options and destinations, analyze their fares and showcase the least expensive options to the users. API allows systems to quickly share data, access trip availabilities, and check reservation requests. In the absence of APIs, travel sites would have to personally contact the airline to check flight availability and then confirm it to the user.
Payment Gateway Integration – Apps like Paypal, Stripe, etc. have powerful APIs that help in processing payments, sending invoices, managing user accounts, and handling subscriptions seamlessly. API also ensures security in payment gateways by controlling access to unintended permissions and preventing exposure of sensitive user information or data.
Amazon Advertising API – The Amazon API helps developers access user data like customer reviews, seller ratings, and product listings to sign up for Affiliate programs and showcase product ads in the app.
API or Application Programming Interface bridges the gap between applications by making interactions among each other possible. Integrating APIs in mobile applications ensures that users have a great experience while using your app. Moreover, with the advancements in mobile technology, it is important to incorporate APIs to improve app functionalities.
The best companies for app development have already included third party API-integrations in their app development services. It is not wrong to say the API is the future of mobile apps because of its capabilities to enhance app usability, performance and functionality. So, dynamic mobile app integrated with powerful APIs is what your business needs now to grow and outperform competitors.