Third-Party API Integration for mobile development: Step-By-Step Guide

Third-Party API Integration for mobile development: Step-By-Step Guide

Every app is based on a backend panel or requires access to a third party api or web services. API, an acronym for Application Programming Interface plays a crucial role in every software project. In our daily lives, have you ever wondered what exactly connecting us with those applications? Its API. 

The Application Programming Interface (API) is a software intercessor that connects two applications and gets one’s message across to each other. In short, it enables product A to talk to product B. Each time we use an app to check messages, weather, video, etc, we are using an API. 

These days APIs are present everywhere where they control our daily activities like navigating the GPS, extracting insights from social media platforms, booking a movie ticket online, scheduling a ride/can online, and much more. For an instance, you recently released your MVP app and are willing to enhance it with added features such as social login, geographical location, and a list of recipes. Will your app developer build all these features from zero? Not really!

It is achievable without starting from zero using a thousand APIs stated by different providers. If you want to know more about some popular APIs for mobile apps and a step-by-step guide for API integration, keep scrolling!

What’s a Third-Party API?

Let’s understand third party api better with an example. In a restaurant, you await the waiter man to take your food order. Next, he takes the order and brings it to the table. Likewise, API acts as the waiter where it carries the request from apps and sends it to the third-party systems. Afterward, it drives the result back to your mobile application. API defines the communication between software components with various tools, protocols, and definitions that allows the mobile app to fetch data from other apps or services. 

A third party API includes two Chief Components:

1. Clients

Clients or in other terms the system that sends the request made by the app to the server

2. Server

A database or computer that receives and responds to the request

What’s a Third-Party API Integration?

Specifically, third-party API Integration is a process where a business connects APIs of a third party to build up integration with another app or service. Suppose,    your business shall use Google’s API to strengthen Google Ads integration with the site. It’s the third-party integration.

Undoubtedly, third party integrations seem quite appealing. They pump the production significantly but can still cause drawbacks in its performance in the near time. The quality of the project defines its victory and purpose that shall never be compromised. 

Why Use Mobile API Integration?

Mobile API Integration is used mostly due to the following reasons:

1. Adds value

These third-party API integrations add value to your app ideas by offering high-end features and stands apart from the crowd

2. Business Standards

APIs make better decisions with regards to your app functionality through analytics, device kinds, usage pattern, and geolocations. Such information is useful for businesses with app MPV and comes up with better app possibilities maintaining the overall business standards

3. Lesser Costs

Now that the app is able to use the functions of third-party apps, the developers need less time to develop Interesting Ideas for Mobile Applications in 2021

4. Convenience

Google Maps API for location, Facebook APIs for social media log in, Paypal API for online transactions can make it convenient for users to operate & increase engagement.  

5. Flexibility & Personalization

As we know, third party API and software development kits (SDKs) are framed with lots of features that allow them to add functionality for their users. However third party API provides developers an option to choose only suited features and remove others that are not required. 

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How to do API integration to your mobile app

How to perform API Integration to your Mobile App?

Being responsible for various roles and actions, each third party API has its own way of integration. Here is the step-by-step guide on the API integration patterns:

Step 1: Hire API Integration Developer

If you are new to API Integration, you will be required to hire a mobile app developer who shall use SDK in a single installable package. In such a manner, the mobile app developer can prominently integrate the selected API. 

Step 2: Create a project within the API provider system

The next step is that the app developer will register in the API provider system as each call made to the API endpoint asks for verification. 

Step 3: Receive API Key & Authorization token

After the developer is done with registration, he gets an API key so that the system is able to identify the project and verify it through an authentication key so that the user can access the request made to them. 

Step 4: Integrate the API framework 

The developer installs the selected SDK with the API for building environments such as CocoaPods for IOS and Maven for Android.

For this, let’s understand the difference between API and SDK. A software development kit (SDK) is a set of development tools that helps in building apps for a particular software package, framework, platform, video game, operating system, etc. Basically, SDKs contain API. While the developer is creating an app, this app needs to be communicated with other apps which are made possible only by API.        

The actual difference between the two is that an API is an interface to the web service or app and SDK acts as the tool or component for a specific reason. 

Step 5: Use API request instances and methods

To integrate new features to the mobile app, the developer shall execute unique functionality using dependencies added in the previous process.        

Third party API examples:

Here are the examples of several third party API and their features:

Facebook API

It is the social network third party API integration that helps new mobile application users get authorized through their existing social profile i.e facebook to avoid filling long registration forms and saves time. 

Booking API

This API helps in attaching hotel booking details to the apps such as cost, amenities, hotel queries, meals, etc. 

Movie Database API

It is suitable for developing in-demand video streaming platforms like Amazon, Netflix, Hotstar, etc. This offers access to movie titles, release dates, ratings, and reviews. 

Spoonacular API

It is crucial for nutrition & fitness applications that include 86K food products and 35K recipes of meals. Additionally, the app users can also calculate the number of calories that diet or meal contains. 

Skyscanner API

It is useful when the developer is creating travel-related apps to provide users details on flight search, prices, live details from booking agencies. 

Google Maps API

It is important for any navigation or geolocation mobile application as it shows maps and gives direction to the destination put by users and makes sure they do not get lost. This interacts with the help of the programming language google API javascript that has several constructs and apps considerable at a professional level. 

Conclusion:

One can simply enrich the mobile applications with new features using third party API integration without turning around the wheel. Such an integration fundamentally lowers the investment and saves a good amount of time to make your app stand apart from the crowd. 

This way you can save time and money on your custom web app development and enhance user engagement. To sum it up all, here is a step-by-step guide to integrate third party API for mobile application development that has been a tricky decision anyway and can help you wipe out your struggles and experiences. 

We hope this helps us to understand the basic difference between investing energy and time in building third party services to avail the benefits from third party API vendors. The selection of third party API providers can be ponderous especially when you aren’t technically sound, it is always recommended to let the professionals evaluate your business and the best api after analyzing your project. 

So, if you are looking for a mobile app development company, who will not only code but also make the best API recommendations on the above parameters, please feel free to contact us for further suggestions on third party API to be integrated into your mobile application. 

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