An API is the code that governs how one application communicates to another and it allows developers to “piggyback” on another service’s offerings. Ideal for quickly attaining and manipulating data from other web services for your site or app, APIs are also leveraged to create “mashups” using the overlapping data from multiple APIs to develop new functionality.
Additionally, APIs are beneficial for anyone who wants to avoid the headache of building a new app from scratch (most of us)! Accessing an API allows developers to save time and money by easily supplementing an existing app with new features.
APIs have sustained a new era of digital economy and deployed a wave of innovation over the past decade. As a result, a large number of businesses are being challenged to reconsider their approach to developing and delivering new applications.
According to Gartner, a minimum of one-third of companies will launch a multi-experience platform for the support of conversational, mobile, web, and augmented reality development in 2021, if they haven’t already.*
Whether you have a high level of software literacy or you just intend to share stats, social media content, maps, rankings, or recipes, there’s an API out there for you. From video moderation and mapping, to security and marketing, here are the top APIs that will help developers save time and money in 2021:
1) 2D, 3D and Design
Useful for developers who want to reduce the work required to program mouse input for controlling movements, rotating objects, and changing entries without any button clicking. This API gives you access to raw mouse movement, locks the target of mouse events to a single element, removes limits on how far a mouse can move in a single direction, and removes the cursor from view. Ideal for developing graphic design apps, map viewing apps, 3D games, and other applications requiring a lot of mouse-controlled movements.
This new API delivers the 3D digital solutions that the fashion industry has been waiting for. With the Browzwear API, users can digitize their apparel workflow with true-to-life 3D. The Browzwear API provides plugin access to the software with methods for garment creation, asset management, colorways, costing, techpack, smart design, and outputs.
2) Photos and Images
Manage, store, and resize your images, and other digital and web assets in the cloud with the web asset management platform Cloudinary. The Cloudinary API gives developers the ability to access and integrate Cloudinary’s functionality with other applications. With this API, developers can efficiently manage account information, pull up images, store photos, manage asset information, and more. Gone are the days of worrying about spinning up your own CMS or data store repository, managing storage, or uptime, as it’s all taken care of for you.
A feature of many apps, user generated images enhance and improve the user experience. This API is a time-saver, as it eliminates the need to develop your own image moderation engine or hire a moderation team. With WebPurify’s Image Moderation API, users can integrate live moderators or AI-based moderation technology into any application. WebPurify moderates hundreds of thousands of images every day, and their web service offers an API for easy, efficient image moderation based on either a company’s custom criteria or a standard out-of-the-box set of criteria.
With this image editing service, developers can automatically remove the backgrounds of photos with one line of code for any image. From photos of persons to product images, removal of backgrounds with ease means that you can maintain image consistency with minimal effort.
The ever-popular Vimeo API meets your video needs by managing, transcoding, uploading, and playing back all types of video. Elect to embed the videos in your own website, or share them with Vimeo’s large community of filmmakers. The API implements RESTful calls, while responses are formatted in JSON.
WebPurify Video Moderation
Get video content moderation on demand with this API. You can quickly integrate WebPurify’s live moderators into your application, moderating your videos based on their standard criteria or your custom criteria. WebPurify delivers reliable results and rapid API response times to protect your brand and users, and live moderators are available 24 x 7, 365 days a year.
Agora.io is a Communications as a Service (CaaS) platform that allows developers to integrate audio calls and live video streams into any app without dealing with the hassle of building a custom backend. The Agora Video API enables mobile-to-mobile and real-time communications through a virtual network that you won’t have to manage.
Although it has been around for a while, Bondora still remains a highly-recommended API by developers who appreciate that it enables them to programmatically access the Bondora investment platform for European personal loans. These loans are fixed-income investments, offering monthly returns in the form of principal and interest payments. Bondora loans are funded directly by investors instead of through banks. And all borrowers are risk-assessed and set into credit groups whose interest rates determine their relative risk.
The Stripe application is used to create recurring charges, search past payments, and keep tabs on customers and payments. This financial API gives developers access to Stripe’s functionality for accepting payments online. API methods include sending invoices, processing payments, managing subscription billing, editing and managing account information, and addressing other online payment needs. Tools can be utilized for on-demand marketplaces, subscription services, and e-commerce sites.
Go beyond just receiving payments from customers. This API enables you to customize the actual payment gateway. Enhance the user experience and checkout process with cards using iPad, iPhone, and Android, and build gateways for your website, mobile app, or physical point-of-sale system. With the Square Connect API, you can retrieve reports for users’ payments, refunds, and settlements, and manage merchants’ items as well.
HubSpot is an inbound marketing software platform that helps businesses attract customers and convert leads to sales. With the HubSpot API, developers can integrate the Hubspot marketing software into their applications, allowing users to manage and sync contacts, companies, line items, products, quotes, and tickets with other internal systems.
A link management platform known for enabling users to shorten URLs. Use this API to create and distribute links on social media by way of integrated apps and SMS, as well as for click analytics.
Clearbit gives developers the user profile information they need to adapt a website’s functionality based on the user. One of Clearbit’s many APIs, Reveal, is beneficial for de-anonymizing web and app traffic, enabling developers to customize content and functionality based on unique information, such as a user’s profession and interests.
Businesses can easily build advanced, reliable, and scalable voice and SMS communication applications with Twilio’s hosted API and markup language. And since the voice applications written on Twilio’s cloud solution can scale transparently, you don’t have to worry about issues with contracts and programming that typically come with a rise in traffic or a spike in growth.
A free public and rather popular API, Windy can be used by developers to add an animated, interactive weather forecast map to websites and applications. Windy’s animated map displays information and forecasts for clouds, temperature, wind, waves, and more.
Popular with developers who want to use geocoding data within maps offered by a Google Maps Platform API. With the Geocoding API, use Google Maps to create interactive maps and find the address for a specified place ID. Google’s Geocoding API delivers direct access to services through an HTTP request.
HERE provides an array of GPS APIs with dense location data for a location-based app. The APIs gather data from more than 200 countries and updates are made daily. Location features include batch geocoding, comprehensive routing, maps, and weather information.
The Bing COVID-19 Data API is new and growing in popularity, as it provides total confirmed coronavirus cases, deaths, and recovery rates by country. COVID-19 Data is sourced from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. The responses are JSON formatted.
7) Reviews & Recommendations
Trustpilot is a review and recommendation platform for searching companies, reading reviews, and writing reviews by category and function. Developers will find both of Trustpilot’s APIs beneficial for accessing and integrating product reviews and more with other applications.
With Yelp’s APIs, you can accurately identify neighborhood name information in a particular location, use the phone number for a business to determine its review and rating information, track recent reviews for a certain business, display review information and top reviewers for that specific business, and display pictures of local businesses that have earned high ratings.
8) Content & Search
WebKnox is an ontology-driven fact extraction engine developed to deliver fast, comprehensive, and direct answers to questions on any topic a user can dream up. WebKnox computes an answer to all questions using its knowledge base. It also leverages external services that may have previously offered an answer in response to questions. WebKnox attempts to find an answer on the fly if those options do not succeed.
This search API lets applications interact directly with the Algolia platform. The API can be utilized to support developers in providing exceptional search experiences in apps and websites. Search features include complete and customizable ranking, the opportunity to search infinite attributes from a single search box, and design for mobile performance.
This REST API enables you to obtain JSON metadata for headlines that appear on over 30,000 news sources and blog articles from around the world, including CNN, BBC News, Fox, Buzzfeed, and ESPN. Use the free version to make 500 requests per day for non-commercial projects or upgrade by choosing from one of three price tiers.
This API is an accurate, efficient way to filter profane language from in-game chat, in-app comments, customer reviews, forums, product customization engines, and more. It can easily be integrated into any app or website, and the profanity list is updated automatically for maximum accuracy. Plus, users can add their own customized list of words to filter.
Google Books is an archive of digitized books from all over the world. The Google Book Search Data API can be used to obtain and modify Book Search content via feeds. Authenticated requests may be submitted to create and modify library collections, reviews, ratings, labels, and more. Full-text searches may also be submitted for books, as well as book information and ratings. The API provides the option to obtain an individual user’s public reviews and library collections.
Google Fonts is a library of 1,023 licensed font families that are free, and APIs for utilizing the fonts via Android and CSS for use in any app or website. The API allows you to link from shared stylesheets, browser compatibility, and available open source fonts to HTML documents in a CSS style.
ConfigureID offers software that enables users to personalize and customize products. Make your product configurator unique to your brand using ConfigureID’s array of features and photo-realistic image quality. With its APIs, developers can integrate a powerful product configuration engine around whatever custom interface you can dream up.
An open source security tool for InfoSec professionals, Reconmap enables users to plan, document, and execute penetration test and reconnaissance projects for numerous clients and targets. With this API, you can manipulate all available data through the Reconmap web and mobile applications, including projects, tasks, vulnerabilities, users, stats, reports, and other data.
With this API, developers can access the free geolocation and global IP database services that Ipstack offers. Use this API to recognize the location of website and app visitors. The API can also be utilized for analyzing threats and risks to both applications and websites.
As your business grows, an investment in building these integrations can eliminate the need to constantly interact with a complex, often confusing web interface. By integrating an appropriate API into your software application, mobile app, or website, you can save your team time and resources in 2021.
*Gartner Source: Gartner, Technology Insight for Multiexperience Development Platforms, Jason Wong, Van L. Baker, William Clark, Adrian Leow, Marty Resnick, Mark Driver, Magnus Revang, Rob Dunie, 21 February 2018