mobile app development

How to Use APIs for Mobile Apps to Develop Faster & Smarter Apps? A Complete Guide

APIs for mobile apps are crucial for making apps more efficient, safer, and useful. In this blog, we are covering how APIs have become a popular option to build sustainable and competitive apps in today’s era.

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The past few years have seen a rapid evolution in customer experiences and digital technologies. We have new patterns and approaches that support seamless and enhanced digital experiences.

This has seen developers value server and client integration more than before. However, this transformation would not have been possible without Applications Programming Interfaces (APIs).

APIs are programming interfaces that allow applications to communicate and share information. They dictate how data is shared, the conventions used, and the data formats shared. 

Why should you use APIs for mobile apps?

Even though an API for mobile apps is separated from the entire software of your application, the application is still functional. For instance, if you are a travel agent, you might want to show weather conditions on your application and thus, you will have to use the right API for mobile application development for that.

Or, you have the option to build your own weather forecasting functionality for your website. However, you can also use one of the top picks for weather APIs which come with better functionalities and are even more reliable.

If you want your website visitors to create an account before accessing your services, you can build a sign-up functionality from scratch or use an API-driven development approach that allows them to sign-up via Google, Facebook, or any other social media platform.

How to develop faster & smart apps using APIs?

Working with APIs can have many advantages especially if you are planning to use the top AI API platforms for smarter apps. API for mobile apps can be helpful in integrating more features into your apps, making your apps visually appealing and scalable, and more. Here are some more benefits of the API-driven development approach-

1. Enforce precision in your architectural design

If you want a good API response, you need to ensure that you have reduced your network chatter while working with APIs. You should look at your client-server chatter and ensure that you have limited it as much as possible.

In addition, while you create mobile apps using APIs, your API endpoints should not give away all or just any data to client applications. Instead, make sure that only the required data is made available when the need arises and for the right screen.

While using the API for mobile apps, It is important to note that changes on your backend will affect the performance of your APIs as well as the front-end side of your applications. All the phases of your app development lifecycle need precision to ensure that you get the lowest latency possible.

2. Do not use large systems for integration

As more developers understand the importance of APIs and use them when building API mobile apps, they are faced with a new demand for scalability. This means that you should break any large systems that you use into small and independent services to build the API mobile apps.

This is known as microservices. This architecture makes it possible for you to easily troubleshoot issues with your applications, deploy quickly, and isolate services from each other. This allows you to build a decoupled application that can be consumed and maintained easily. 

3. Use the right storage and database

If you want to build faster and smart apps using APIs, you need to make sure that you have used the right storage and database while picking the right API for mobile application development. Even though the database type might not be very important, ensure that you have avoided sequential UUIDs as much as you can.

Instead, you should generate your UUIDs randomly. This is important in ensuring that your resources are secured since IDs cannot be predicted easily. You can consider relational databases such as MySQL or MariaDB.

If you want a NoSQL database, then MongoDB database might be the best option for you. You might also find yourself in a situation where you need a hybrid database. At the end of the day, ensure that the database you choose to use does not make things difficult when building your applications using APIs.

4. Reduce API calls and network chatter

If, for instance, you are building an Android app with API, you will need to make different service calls for every transaction to be completed successfully. This is a challenge for most developers even from the best mobile app development companies.

Since you are planning to create mobile apps using APIs including the front end, you need to try as much as you can to have at most one API call on every screen. If you have many service calls, you will limit the responsiveness of your application. 

This might affect the battery life of your users’ devices. You can also build better endpoints for your APIs or use the device’s local cache. This improves user experience and ensures that API calls do not affect the performance of your applications.

5. Security is important

Security is one of the most important things to implement, especially for developers building their applications with third-party APIs. This is because APIs face privacy controls, secret keys, and access control mechanisms that are used to keep data and backend systems secure.

Your API-driven development might make the app ask users for personal information. This information will be shared using APIs. Advancements in technology have also seen an increase in cybercriminal activities, something that might expose users’ personal information.

You, therefore, need to make sure that you have implemented the right API security protocols. You can use security standards such as OAuth2, OpenID Connect, and TLS, among others. In addition, always improve the security of your applications by ensuring that you have used the latest versions of your APIs.

Wrapping up

Today, you can hardly find an application that is not built using APIs. APIs are useful for mobile apps, especially if the competition in the target user base is massive, in such situations, APIs can reward developers with a competitive advantage over alternatives. However, this does not mean that all applications built using APIs are smart and guarantee to reward developers with growth. 

You need to follow the guidelines discussed above to build smart apps faster using APIs. Additionally, you will also have to consider a calculated approach to building the app to assure that once your app is released in the real world, it grows in terms of popularity and demand.

Written By

She is an avid writer of technology and trending mobile apps. When she is not busy updating you about the tech world, she spends time reading books and playing guitar.

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