Applications Programming Interfaces (APIs) are the connecting blocks that allow applications to communicate and share data. They are responsible for dictating the calls that are made by applications, how they are made, the responses sent, data formats used, and the conventions used throughout the entire process. They have played a very important role in the growth of IoT devices, including smartphones.
Today, we are able to access different services through a smartphone. All you need is an internet connection and the application you need to be installed on your smartphone. For instance, the fintech sector has benefited from the use of APIs and continued to operate even when other businesses are closing shop. Their clients are able to access all services through applications on their smartphones from anywhere in the world without any interruptions.
A smartphone user will tell you that the front-end of the applications they use is what matters to them. Even though the look and feel, as well as the design of a mobile application, contributes a lot to how the application is adopted, the real test of a mobile application is how it operates, how it can be used, and what the user can get out of it.
The value of a mobile app rests on data. When building these applications, developers need to make sure that users can easily access and play with the data the way they want without any problems. This is where APIs come in.
APIs have created an avenue for developers to extend the reach of their mobile applications beyond their limitations. They offer rapid delivery and easy integration of applications that rely on each other. This makes it possible for developers to integrate applications and deliver all the services that their consumers need without having to build the applications from scratch. For this to work, they need to build a robust architecture that streamlines the operations of their APIs and eliminates any loopholes that can compromise the APIs.
To understand how APIs work within mobile applications, we are going to look at a real example of a hotel booking application. The first thing that happens is a user launching the application on their mobile device. After that, they feed the applications with the details of what they are looking for. In this case, they will choose a location, check-in and check-out date, and other variables like internet, swimming pools, and expected meals.
To make their booking, they need to interact with the hotel’s database. This is where the mobile application interacts with the hotel’s APIs to gain access to the hotel data and provide you with feedback that matches your search criteria.
The API is tasked with running and delivering the data from your mobile application to the hotel’s systems through the internet. After that, it takes the response from the hotel’s systems and delivers it back to your mobile application. In a nutshell, the API is responsible for facilitating the communication between the hotel system and your mobile application.
That is how APIs work in a smartphone context. They create connectivity and allow data to be transmitted between systems. They also offer developers a standard way through which they can access devices and application data efficiently.
As discussed above, mobile applications rely on APIs for their functions. The use of mobile devices has grown rapidly over the past few years, making them a major avenue for businesses to interact with their customers. This means that businesses need to invest in mobile applications that simplify the way they offer their services.
For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic closed many businesses and in-person meetings. This did not mean that businesses had to stop operations. Smart businesses had already invested in mobile applications and made sure that through the use of APIs, their employees were able to work from home. Their customers were also able to access most if not all of their services using mobile applications. This would not have been possible without mobile applications and APIs.
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