Apps. Sensors. They’re everywhere. Your phone, your car, your TV, even your refrigerator. And whether you’re trying to provide directions, recipes, or an online marketplace, your app should serve up a native experience on every device, and in every form factor.
That’s where it gets complicated. Android has dozens of OS + hardware combinations and versions, as does iOS. And you don’t want to leave out BlackBerry or Windows Phone users. A great app experience depends on making adjustments for screen sizes and device versions – iOS 8 on an iPad mini is a different experience from iOS 10 on an iPad Pro.
Then, even if you have rich data to work from, today’s audiences have very specific, highly individual needs, such as gluten-free or vegan recipes, entertainment venues with the best handicapped access, or even the route to Grandma’s with the most restrooms along the way. And the B2B business cases are even more complex. For businesses like yours, there may be just too much room for error, depending on what you’re trying to deliver. “Daunting” is an understatement.
But, it can be done. Just look at the success of Amazon’s Alexa voice recognition system. Provide the tools to slice and dice the data, and let developers have at it.
An application programming interface (API) gives developers the building blocks they need to develop a specific app, and includes subroutine definitions, protocols, and tools. And as part of your overall business strategy, API management is your secret weapon for creating hundreds of apps to serve every niche and audience, without building a thing. This can mean tremendous cost savings, and the opportunity to reach a much larger audience.
“APIs are also important for the businesses that provide them, because third-party developers build out applications that further the use of the company’s core product. This saves the API provider both time and money.”
- Michael Patterson, SproutSocial
Here’s an example: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) approached us to build a transit app, and immediately recognized the complications and costs in rolling it out to all those various platforms while providing a consistent experience.
We ended up creating an API that gave the developer community access to real-time data (e.g. bus / train locations) and static data (e.g. locations of bus / train stops or schedules). The result? WMATA is now the backbone of nearly 60 different DC-area transit apps, serving niches such as tourists, families with kids, and handicapped travelers. While it isn’t always that cut-and-dry, you’d be surprised at how many businesses are stuck at the “how do we do it” phase.
So, instead of pulling your hair out trying to serve every platform, or shrugging your shoulders and walking away, because it seems impossible, take a close look at your data set, content, business logic, and your overall goals – the open API approach may work for you. EastBanc Technologies can help you determine the value of, develop, and roll out an API solution for your business that can increase your reach while saving you time, effort, and money. To learn more about how we can simplify your business, contact me at email@example.com.