Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are a set of rules, tools, procedures, and protocols used when establishing connections between applications for communication and data transmission.
They have revolutionized software development and changed how developers code when building mobile applications. Today, developers do not have to code from scratch when working on a project.
Instead, they can look for an API and implement the functionality that they need. For instance, when building a mobile application that needs a map’s functionality, developers can implement a Maps API such as the Google Maps API.
Some of the benefits of using APIs for developing mobile applications include;
Reduces Coding Requirements
As discussed above, using APIs when developing mobile applications allows developers to implement the functionality they are looking for from APIs. They (developers) are now able to engrave different functionalities into their mobile applications without having to invest time in writing code.
Initially, developers had to write code from scratch even for the smallest functionality in their applications. Fortunately, APIs have reduced coding requirements and provide most of the required functionalities for free with the help of open-source API management tools.
For example, you might have seen something like “Powered by PayPal” when shopping online. This means that the eCommerce store developers did not have to write code for the payment functionality. They simply implemented the PayPal API for their payments.
Reduces Development Time
Gone are the days when developers would take a lot of time to build mobile applications. Today, development time has been greatly reduced through API integration.
Taking the example of the eCommerce store above, it would have taken the developers more time to incorporate their payment functionality.
Today, developers have access to thousands of APIs whose main purpose is to help their applications connect with other applications as well as service providers. All these APIs offer different functionalities, giving developers the pleasure of choosing the one that meets their specific requirements.
For example, let us assume that developers are given some time to build a mobile application that helps users upload their resumes. However, these developers do not have enough time to incorporate all requirements.
To save time, they can look for APIs that provide some of the functionalities required by the application. Things like authentication can be implemented from APIs such as Facebook and Google sign-in APIs. This would reduce development time.
Reduces Codebase Complexities
Most mobile applications require a lot of functionalities and features for them to meet their requirements. This makes their codebases complex and extensive. Some features might even require many lines of code making them more complex than others.
Fortunately, APIs have reduced this complexity for developers. Depending on how big or complex a feature is, developers can simply implement an API and modify it to meet their requirements.
They do not have to build these functionalities but integrate APIs to take care of the features that would complicate their codebases. This is one way of reducing code complexities, something that makes code easy to understand even for new developers.
Helps in Developing Creative Mobile Applications
There are thousands of APIs available to developers today. Each of these APIs comes with different functionalities that can be used in mobile applications. How do these APIs help developers build creative applications?
Sometimes, mobile app developers limit the number of features and functionalities to save time and resources when building applications. When this happens, they might find themselves compromising the creativity of their applications.
However, they can integrate APIs to power the complex and complicated features. This ensures that they have not compromised their apps’ creativity. At the end of the day, they will have every feature that they need to make their applications creative.
Provides Easier Payments Options
Finally, most businesses build mobile applications to engage with their customers and power their business processes. These businesses need to reach their customers, market and make sales through their applications.
A payment process is required for a complete business process or transaction. When building a mobile app, developers need different payment processors to meet the diverse requirements of their customers.
Fortunately, they can save time by integrating different payment APIs to accept payments in mobile applications. Some of the most popular payment APIs include Stripe API, Square API, and PayPal API.
In conclusion, APIs are playing a crucial role in mobile applications development. They have also grown in popularity, and developers understand how important it is for them to implement APIs in their development work.