Today in APIs: Coinbase Keys into Better Security, and 11 New APIs

Greg Bates
Feb. 11 2014, 02:00PM EST

Coinbase invents better keys to the coin of the realm. Access to Google Apps to require recent version of Android on OEM devices. Plus: Delivery.com uses API to connect content and commerce, what APIs mean to marketing, and 11 new APIs.

Coinbase Steps Up Security with Better Keys

Is the key to better security for bitcoin...better keys? That's the premise of one bitcoin wallet company, Coinbase. Until now you had one global key to access all their services--a risky security situation. And, as the accompanying graph suggests, what is at stake has risen significantly with the rise of bit coin's value. So now the company has introduced multiple keys with different levels of permissions.


As they state on their blog, they are introducing HMAC authentication with examples in their API documentation:

Another change we’re making is we are deprecating the old style of API keys, which were just a key string that you’d put in the request’s parameters.
All keys created from now on, will be accompanied by a secret, that you will use to sign requests as you make them.

Old keys will still work, Coinbase notes. However they plan to discontinue support after August of 2014.

Google to OEMs: Ship Latest Android or Forgo Google Apps

David Ruddock reports that Google might now start forcing OEMs to install the latest version of Android in order to have access to Google apps. He states this is a rumor, based on a tip they sat on for two weeks while he firmed up the rumor.

Now, in his piece in Androidpolice, Ruddock provides the evidence, interpreting a table:

...the window to certify any device running Android 4.1 or below with Google Mobile Services expired at the beginning of this month. That means manufacturers will no longer be able to submit devices for GMS approval to Google unless they run Android 4.2 or above. By April 24th, that number changes to 4.3 or above. On July 31st, 4.4 or above. And at an as-yet unspecified date, OEMs will need to ship with the API level of the OS likely to be announced at Google I/O later this year.

And he further quotes an "alleged" memo:

the window to certify any device running Android 4.1 or below with Google Mobile Services expired at the beginning of this month. That means manufacturers will no longer be able to submit devices for GMS approval to Google unless they run Android 4.2 or above. By April 24th, that number changes to 4.3 or above. On July 31st, 4.4 or above. And at an as-yet unspecified date, OEMs will need to ship with the API level of the OS likely to be announced at Google I/O later this year.

This move makes sense--especially if you read the comments on the article, summed up by one terse missive, "I'm more shocked that they weren't doing this in the first place, to be honest."

Haven't we seen this fight before? A giant company has software tools that have made it a household name. It provides those tools to hardware manufacturers who do whatever they want with them. Then, when a competitor delivers a more satisfying user experience by combining the hardware and software offer under one roof, or by curating an app store, the company working with all the hardware vendors starts to tighten the rules in an effort to up the game on what the consumer is offered. Will Google play catch up to Apple, as Microsoft did when it finally started producing software/hardware combinations?

Maybe this time it's different. Maybe Google's model of supplying software to hardware vendors will provide the best user experience and, ultimately, the best profit margins. Android has certainly captured market share. Just like... Microsoft once did.

API News You Shouldn’t Miss

11 New APIs

Today we had 11 new APIs added to our API directory including a credit card bitcoin service, a church data management service, a data connection & analysis service, a bulk geocoding and reverse lookup services and an led lighting products fact service. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

BTC-DealerBTC-Dealer API: BTC-Dealer is a bitcoin service that allows users to purchase bitcoins using credit cards. The BTC-Dealer API allows merchants to integrate the credit card payment option into their site to sell bitcoins. To use the site, users must be in a country in which the service operates. As of 2/6/2014, the site does not provide its service to U.S users.

ChurchMetricsChurchMetrics API: ChurchMetrics is a web-based church management service that helps churches keep track of important information. Trackable information includes attendance, donations, baptisms, and more. Historical data can be reviewed in the form of charts and reports. This data can be accessed from any computer with internet access or via an iOS or Android application. Data is also programmatically accessible via REST API.

DataboxDatabox API: Databox is a data connection and dashboard service. Databox provides features that allow users to connect to datasources, visualize data, and analyze data.

The Databox API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Databox with other applications. Public documentation is not available; API access comes with account service.

GeocodioGeocodio API: Geocodio provides bulk geocoding and reverse lookup services through a REST API. The API is able to process a single address, as well as handle bulk requests of up to 10,000 addresses. Geocoded results are returned with an accuracy score indicating the confidence Geocodio has in the accuracy of the result. Geocodio is also able to parse addresses into individual components.

LightingFactsLightingFacts API: LED Lighting Facts is a program created by the U.S. Department of Energy that encourages produces of LED products to test and post performance results on the site. The site is designed to provide information for manufacturers, retails and distributers, approval labs, and other industry groups. The LightingFacts API allows developers to interact with the products list to get product data, perform Product Management, and perform other functions. An account is required with service. The API uses REST calls, returns JSON, and uses SSL for authentication.

osu!osu! API: Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan is a Nintendo DS game based on using simple gestures to match the rhythms of popular Japanese songs. This game has been adapted for the PC, and on the osu! website, players can create profiles, gain levels, share beatmaps, etc. The osu! API allows developers to retrieve general beatmap information, general user information, information on the top 50 scores of a given beatmap, and information on multiplayer matches.

Postcodes.ioPostcodes.io API: Postcodes.io is a free, open source postcode and geolocation API for Great Britain. Postcodes.io allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Postcodes.io with other applications. Some example API methods include looking up postcodes individually and bulk, reverse geocoding individually and bulk, and querying postcodes.

TaplyticsTaplytics API: Taplytics is a mobile data and metrics analysis platform. Taplytics provides various features to view, analyze, and access mobile application data and metrics.

The Taplytics API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Taplytics with other applications. Some example API methods include retrieving data, downloading metrics, and managing user accounts.

Way2VoiceSMSWay2VoiceSMS API: Way2VoiceSMS provides bulk SMS services for sending messages in text, Unicode, WAP push, and long text format. Message recipients can be chosen based on their location or any other information the user has on file. Way2VoiceSMS supports polling recipients to determine public opinion. Bulk SMS can be sent and received through the website, desktop application, or API. Available API methods include SOAP, SMPP, and SMTP.

WishsmsWishsms API: Wishsms.com offers access to a large database of quotes & SMS messages. The content is broken up into over 50 categories that users can peruse and resuse at their leisure. Wishsms.com offers access to the collection of SMS messages and quotes through a REST API which returns the content in JSON.

ZipwhipZipwhip API: Zipwhip provides cloud-based texting services that leverage the user's existing mobile and landlines, allowing them to send and receive texts from any device that connects to the internet. This includes mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. Many customers prefer texting to calling, and Zipwhip allows them to do so.

Greg Bates A writer for Programmableweb since 2012, Greg is a freelance writer and a maniacal editor of dissertations and term papers. - Follow me on Google+

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