What Can APIs Be Used For?

March 27, 2020

APIs are an essential ingredient of all sorts of modern apps and services, enabling cross-platform communication between two distinct types of software to achieve a wide range of goals.

If you are new to the world of APIs, learning about the things they can do will help expand your understanding, so here are just a few common uses that you are probably already harnessing without realizing it.

 

Travel Apps

When it comes to giving you access to the best information on hotel bookings, flights and other travel-related factors, APIs will be doing all the hard work behind the scenes to make sure the applications you use can serve you with up to the minute data quickly and accurately.

You can find out more about the best flight and travel APIs on this page, but in brief they allow you to do everything from compare prices on accommodation to checking out hiking trails around the world.

 

Weather Apps

With the help of modern smartphones and a handful of influential weather APIs, it has never been easier to find out about climatic conditions in your current location, or indeed anywhere else on the globe.

Weather APIs are tied intrinsically to a broad swath of different solutions, extending beyond forecasting apps into everything from news apps and social media services to e-commerce sites and beyond.

 

Social Media

Speaking of social media, this is another area in which the effect of APIs can be transformative. Developers can tap into the APIs of services like Twitter in order to integrate certain aspects of the platform’s functionality in to their own app, or leverage Instagram’s API to outline automated posting schedules and so on.

Of course APIs can change over time and it pays to keep on top of this news so that you know when any alterations are likely to occur, because if you do not then you might find that some aspect of the app you have built no longer functions as intended.

 

E-Commerce

Shop-ability is something which more and more apps and sites are eager to integrate, since it is a way to reliably generate revenues without having to rely on the potentially more fickle process of embedding ads and hoping for clicks and conversions.

Major e-commerce platform providers, including Shopify, offer their own APIs to give sellers more options when it comes to setting up their stores, expanding the capabilities of their e-commerce offerings and leveraging a degree of customization.

 

Gaming

The videogames industry is growing rapidly and has a bright future ahead of it, so it is no surprise that APIs are also playing a part in shaping this market at the moment.

This is particularly relevant in an e-sports context, with APIs being used to make it easier for stats relating to gameplay to be harvested and analyzed. From Fortnite and Halo to Pokemon Go and Minecraft, there are APIs for a selection of top titles, as well as for associated applications like TeamSpeak.

 

Communication

Apps are essential to modern communication, with significant platforms like Skype and WhatsApp changing the way that people stay in touch and share ideas in both a business context and in their personal lives.

Developers can make use of all that these services have to offer with the assistance of APIs, making it easier to plug into the perks which they provide while taking more control of how their own brands are presented.

Since APIs are effectively all about enabling communication between otherwise disparate ecosystems, this certainly makes sense and will doubtless remain relevant as digital communication becomes more vital.