In this era of technological advancement, no sector has been devoid of innovation. Mobile app development is no different than the rest, as many underlying technologies have significantly affected the way in which they are made and perceived. In earlier days, mobile apps were only designed to perform certain functions. But, as the human race advanced, so did its needs. Nowadays, mobile apps perform actions by taking social preferences, territorial grounds, and usability into account to come up with a streamlined user experience. All of this has been made possible with the help of APIs. So, before diving into the benefits of APIs, let’s take a brief look at what they actually are.
What are APIs?
API stands for Application Programming Interface. To help you understand it in a better way, let’s break it down into its parts.
Take an ATM machine for an example. When you use an ATM machine, you expect it to give you access to your bank account and perform transactions. Just like how an ATM does what it needs to do, an app also needs to act as an intermediary between the user and the server to perform certain tasks. This is done with the help of an API.
The programming part of an API translates to how the input and output of an applciation is made understandable. For example, to grant you access to your account, an ATM first translates your request and connects with your account. It then checks if there is enough money in your account, and after the bank grants permission to it, it communicates back to you in an understandable language. An app has to work the same way.
This defines how you interact with the application. In the case of an ATM, it is the screen that shows information, the keypad, and the card/cash slot.
So, APIs are just a set of requirements that dictate how a mobile app communicates and shares data with the web service. For example, many games allow you to post their high scores on Facebook. This is done through the use of Facebook API. Likewise, there are a lot of other popular API, which make the user experience more streamlined.
Benefits of Using APIs
APIs are becoming more and more popular amongst developers as they provide a guide for them to develop their apps and integrate different web services without any hassle. Here are some advantages of using APIs.
As APIs can be easily found on the internet, there is no need to code that entire piece. For example, if an app needs a cloud based storage, developers can use Google Drive APIs or DropBox APIs in their applications.
The majority of applications provide the option to interact with another app. APIs provide a wide array of options where users can share information without having to leave the application they are using. Apps like these are easier to use and more popular among users.
Have you ever made an account on a website using your Google or Facebook? Well, that is done through the help of specific APIs that fetch the required data without having to sign-up.
Mobile apps are developed to perform basic functions, and the use of APIs help to achieve that feat. Every mobile app developer knows that with APIs, the task of making applciations with become more difficult and hence know that they are the present and the future of mobile app development.