What is API? Why are APIs so paramount for any mobile application?

By Ravijeet Dang

Industry:Technology 5 Min Read


One of the most common terms during the mobile or web application development discussion is API. In layman terms, API(s) are the language through which different applications converse amongst themselves. In short, APIs serve as a base in the app development process and allow businesses to grow tremendously.

Let us first understand what API is?

API stands for Application Programming Interface. It is a software-to-software interface that enables two applications to exchange data with each other. Each time we use an app like Facebook or Instagram, send an instant message or check the weather on our phone, we use nothing but an API. It is like the hidden backbone of our modern world.


Every mobile application plus the website uses multiple APIs to run their native applications by requesting a web server to get relevant data. The web server will then send a response to that request via API response. This makes the web server work smoothly without getting heavy.

APIs have changed how the modern world interacts using technology drastically. Everything from sharing photos to shopping online, booking a cab, a flight or a hotel, playing games is all done via APIs. It is API because the technology is innovating at a faster than the predicted rate.

Application Programming Interface (API) includes three prominent elements:

  • 1.Procedures - often referred to as routines, are specific tasks or functions a program performs.
  • 2.Protocols - a format used to communicate data between applications.
  • 3.Tools - a set of building blocks; components needed to construct new programs.

APIs are needed to bring applications together to perform a designed function built around sharing data and executing pre-defined processes. In other words, they work as a middle man, allowing developers to build new programmatic interactions between the various applications which people and businesses use daily. Without APIs, applications would be incredibly disconnected and therefore confusing.

Let us now dive into Why APIs are so important?

APIs are surprisingly significant in the current world as they dictate how software developers create new applications that utilize web services like Facebook, Google Maps, and many more. APIs are also great time savers. They offer a tremendous level of accessibility in many ways.

If you are a Facebook user, you would know the ability to sign in to too many different applications and websites, merely using your facebook id. This is a feature that relies upon Facebook APIs to work.

Another great example to understand the importance of API is - when we search for nearby restaurants on any browser, it lays out their locations on Google Maps instead of creating separate maps. Thus, via the Google Map API, the browser passes the information it wants - restaurant addresses, rating, timings, and a lot more - to an internal Google Maps function that then returns a Map object with restaurant pins in it at the proper locations.

On many businesses' websites, we can see social media icons, allowing us to share its content across Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and many more. These are nothing but links that call the APIs associated with each of them to allow users to share or tweet about it, all without leaving the site!


Not just personal use, but APIs are apparently, equally important for the B2B world as well. It can be a critical component in integrating data flows with customers and partner systems. It can help add increased flexibility to traditional types of robust exchange such as managed file transfer (MFT) and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Exchanging documents.

There are many advantages of APIs. The top three of those are:

  • Saves Developer’s time

    APIs can save a considerable amount of time. It eliminates the task of writing endless lines of code, thus shorten the app development cycle and reducing the coding errors.

  • Help Automate App Testing

    With a faster application building process, the otherwise manual testing process gets automated, ensuring that one of the bugs remain undetected. Thus, helping developers deliver an app that stands high on both – quality and user expectations.

  • Social Engagement

    Social media are no longer a mode of entertainment; they are now a modern way of living. Connecting APIs of popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. allows the users to share the content, post comments, and leave reviews directly without having to create a different username.

It seems APIs are pretty important in the current date of time. Well, there, however, is one issue - they are not necessarily permanent. But the good news is that, for the most part, APIs encourage innovation and not suppress it.

Conclusion :

Without APIs, communication between different applications would be restricted. Software developers would continuously be re-writing codes that performed the same functionality, and generally, innovation would slow.

Mobile app APIs are the future of mobile application development that strike app development speed by enhancing functionality with improved usability.

We at iotasol Technologies Pvt. Ltd. have experienced API developers in our team that help provide user-friendly, easily accessible apps for our clients. If you want to hire a trusted API developer to develop API for your mobile or want more information visit https://www.iotasol.com or drop us an email at team@iotasol.com

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About the Author

Ravijeet (Ravi) is an award-winning digital strategist known for his out-of-the-box revenue building strategies and commitment to helping his partners achieve significant cost savings. He is passionate about delivering the best-in-class mobile and web solutions, including digital transformation, e-commerce, express logistics, and more.

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