It seems like it was just yester that APIs were taking over the online world and turning every website into an endless rehash of code from thousands of free available data stores. Thankfully, the online world has matured a little bit since then.
Of course, APIs are still immensely popular, however, they are no longer quite so open. It seems like API designers are now taking a page out of Google’s book because a vast majority of more useful APIs will cost you these days.
Experimental APIs are usually free of charge, but if you want something that will really improve your site or app, you have to pay for it. In order to help you make the most out of your site/app, here are some the best APIs on the market today.
Three APIs Developers Should Know About
Politics is big business these days and you can actually make some serious money on political websites and apps. Now, more than 40 years ago, the book “All the President’s Men” introduced the world to the phrase “follow the money.” Today, we have an interesting API that’s named after the popular phrase, which allows developers to do just that.
The API was originally created by the National Institute on Money. This non-profit organization compiles public donations and disclosures of US politicians and allows people to look through the records. Furthermore, the NIM also collects data for party committees and candidates in all 50 states.
So far, the organization managed to collect information on more than three million donations to more than 16K candidates. The API is still brand new, which means not a lot of people have adopted it yet. We should also note that this data is available under a CC (Creative Commons) license. That means it can’t use for commercial purposes.
Mobile cameras have been around for more than 15 years at this point. And ever since the introduction of the first smartphone, developers all around the globe have been trying to program the phones to do something more complex with their cameras than just take ordinary pictures.
Moodstocks allows the interface of your phone to compare the camera picture with a number of images stored on its servers. It allows you to search for photos from different magazines, posters, and ads – as well as QR codes and barcodes.
The people behind Moodstocks offer a library for both Android and iOS developers, in addition to tools for uploading camera images to their servers. The free account is limited to 1K pictures per month, but you still have a small business plan that allows you to have unlimited pictures.
In just a few short years of existence, this managed to gather more than 5.6 million song lyrics, from almost 500K artists around the world. The best thing about it – all of these songs are fully licensed with major recording publishers. That means you can use this API without any copyright problems at all.
The site – and therefore, the MusixMatch API – allows people to go through the lyrics by track, album, or artist. It’s a pretty simple application that even an elderly person can learn how to use in a matter of minutes. And you can now integrate all of these functionalities into your own app.
The API comes with basic search capabilities. Furthermore, it has a PHP, Ruby, and Perl libraries, among others. The only downside about it is that it’s not exactly cheap. The price beings at 1.4 dollars per 1K views on a mobile device.
Of course, this is just a short list – there are numerous other APIs out there that can help you with your endeavours. But we feel like these are some of the best ones out there, and since some of them are still relatively new, we decided to shed some light on them.
If you’re not completely satisfied with some API, these days, you can easily create an API of your own. Tools like Stoplight allow you to model your API quicker than ever before, with the use topnotch visual tools and increase customer adaptation with great documentation.
Nonetheless, if you’re not using some of the APIs available today, you’re definitely missing out. An API gives you a great opportunity to acquire and manipulate data other services for your site or app. Remember – a single API can quickly move your idea from the drawing board onto user’s devices.