How APIs Can Enhance the Functionality of Your App

For a business owner, a dedicated mobile app is a great way to optimize consumer experience, drive new business and sales, and target new customers through a platform that is both accessible and convenient. These days, nearly everyone has a smartphone that they take with them everywhere they go; the same can’t be said for a laptop. By upping the convenience factor through the addition of a beautifully-designed, easy-to-use mobile app, your company can expand its reach and increase brand awareness, not to mention win over customers.

That said, not all mobile apps are created equal. The top apps all make use of APIs, or application programming interfaces, to enhance performance and functionality for end-users.

APIs provide the tool that enables user interaction with data and services from multiple applications. This can be especially important in consumer apps for anything from pizza delivery to a gift card platform that enables users to choose their own rewards. For instance, Uber and Lyft both employ a sophisticated database of drivers, GPS data, text messaging, and numerous other capabilities, all of which come from various sources. Their platforms make use of an API to gather these data points from their native sources, simplifying and optimizing the database-building process. In other words, an API works by allowing other applications to talk to a platform so that data from those apps can be gathered and consolidated, thus automating the consumer experience and saving business owners and their staff valuable time they would have otherwise spent on completing the processes manually.

Simplicity is the best feature of an API, thanks to its focus on data, rather than platform or device. CEOs are starting to show up at enterprise app and architecture conferences to learn more about how APIs can increase their app functionality in ways that have a positive, direct impact on their bottom line.

Most websites and mobile apps today employ a third-party API to enhance the capability of their platform and to provide useful features to their end-users. Additionally, APIs are used to build components for a graphical user interface (GUI). Essentially, an API provides the building blocks for a program so that the programmer only has to put the blocks together.

Utilizing an API in your company’s mobile platform can not only enhance the experience your customers will have with your app but also save time for employees on your team, allowing them to contribute to the growth and prosperity of your organization in more productive ways.