You can’t spell CAPITALISM without “API”
Maybe you’ve heard that phrase before or seen it on a t-shirt. If you think about it or just take a look at ProgrammableWeb, there is a ton of APIs out there that could actually help developers generate more revenue from their apps. But, what exactly is an API and how can you use APIs to enhance your apps? The new Developer’s Guide to APIs will help you understand how APIs can challenge and empower you to create unique and engaging experiences for your app customers.
Chances are you’ve used an API before, even if you don’t know it. Have you ever used the “Login via Twitter™” button in an app? Received a push notification? Looked at a map within an app? If so, you’ve used an API! Of course, developing apps that utilize APIs is a little more complex, but you should be starting to get the idea of just what APIs can bring to the table in your mobile app. They open up a wide, wide world of possibilities to bring a lot of other companies’ content and services into your app, and, importantly, provide a way for you to potentially make money from your app.
API stands for Application Programming Interface. APIs provide a structured way for apps and services to communicate with each other and exchange information. APIs define how requests for services are made, and specify how they will deliver the results of those requests. APIs allow for application-to-application communication, hiding a lot of complexity from the end user, and allow for data to be presented in a clean, well-designed and useful way.
In layman’s terms, APIs are how different apps and services talk to each other. Your mobile app might want to ask the Google Maps™ API for some location information, and the API lets it do that. The API allows your app to make requests and fulfills them, and it behaves in a defined and structured way, so your app knows how to make that request and how the data sent back will be delivered.
So, what can you do with APIs? The Developer’s Guide to APIs (PDF, 1 MB) will explain how APIs work and give you some ideas for how to use and mash them up (don’t worry – this guidebook is short and sweet). To download, sign-in as an AT&T Developer Program member – Membership is free, plus you’ll get a 90-day free-trial of the APIs available on the AT&T API Platform.