Today in APIs: Google Android Camera API, and 17 New APIs

Greg Bates
Nov. 18 2013, 02:00PM EST

Google's new Android camera API will support RAW. Runscope develops better API testing. Plus: Agile development won't solve it all, Workshop on using WSO2 API Manager, and 17 new APIs.

Google's Camera API: A RAW Deal?

Google is working on an Android API, reported to support Camera RAW, a format of uncompressed photos with higher resolution than their jpeg cousins. The key difference is what photo editing software can do: not a lot with jpegs, more with RAW.

As Ron Amadeo reports in arstechnica, the API will support face detection and

"The most important possible improvement that wouldn't be visible in the source code: image quality. Android cameras arguably lag behind the iPhone in quality, so this new API may be Google's solution to that problem. Android's subpar image quality seems to be an across-the-board problem, so maybe the issue really is as low-level as the camera API."

But one perceptive commenter to the arstechnica report wondered whether the usual advantage that RAW files provide applies in the case of a smart phone camera, where small censor chips are used. We'll have to wait and see.

Runscope's Radar Means Testing Without Disruption

Runscope

Runscope's new Radar is an API testing service that carries on its diagnosis without disrupting the app using the API. The tests are done using real requests.

Alex Williams points out in Techcrunch that the idea of this back end service is to improve the quality of mobile apps and:

"is designed to alleviate the concerns that come with changing backend APIs. It allows app maintainers to verify that their backend services are returning the data their apps expect with the intent of reducing the frequency of app crashes. But testing can be a fragile process that if it goes wrong can cause a poor experience for the customer. Runscope Radar is designed to help customers change their apps’ backend services without breaking it. The intent is to provide ways to improve the service without disrupting the customer experience."

Williams figures the company could be on to a big market, testing APIs is becoming increasingly important to verify the user experience matches the intent of the designers.

API News Your Shouldn’t Miss

17 New APIs

Today we had 17 new APIs added to our API directory including a trance and progressive rock radio show information service, a rewards platform for applications, a location url creation and sharing service, an online video library information and access service, a mobile user acquisition network and an interactive 3d human body tool. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

A State of TranceA State of Trance API: A State of Trance is a radio show, hosted by Armin van Buuren, which plays trance and progressive rock music. The A State of Trance API allows developers to access information from the radio show and the Unofficial A State of Trance Android app. This includes episodes, tracks, artists, DJs, sets, labels, events, and Top 10s. This API is provided for free, though donations are appreciated.

AchieveMintAchieveMint API: AchieveMint is a rewards platform that integrates with applications already used, such as Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and others. AchieveMint allows users to earn rewards for posting healthy activities to applications.

The AchieveMint API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality with other applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should sign up here: http://www.achievemint.com/developer/join.

AddyAddy API: Addy is an application that allows users to create, save, and share locations using a customized URL link. Addy also allows for map views and visualizations, as well as address book functionality.

The Addy API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Addy with other applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should contact Addy here for more information: https://addy.co/business.

AOL On NetworkAOL On Network API: AOL On is a large, online library of video content that covers a wide range of topics and includes AOL Original videos. The AOL On Network API allows developers to integrate its video content, displays, and functionality into their websites. Specifically, developers can get information on videos, studios, and categories as well as search the video library, access the videoseed for a specific URL, and access daily or monthly statistics for their account.

AppiaAppia API: Appia is a mobile user acquisition network. Appia provides solutions for mobile publishers, advertisers, and developers to draw users and customers.

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

BioDigital HumanBioDigital Human API: BioDigital Human is an interactive 3D tool for learning about and teaching the human body. BioDigital Human provides information about the human body and anatomy in a 3D, interactive way with visuals, health information, and personalization tools.

The BioDigital Human API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of BioDigital Human with other applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should sign up here: https://developer.biodigitalhuman.com/developer-signin.html?mode=signup.

Burst SMSBurst SMS API: Burst SMS is a bulk sms messaging service that provides an easy way to send bulk SMS and manage SMS marketing campaigns. Features of the service include message personalization fields; auto bounce management and database cleaning; automatic and manual opt-outs; and SMS templates.

Burst SMS offers an REST API that enables developers to integrate the ability to send and receive SMS into their applications. API methods include SMS, Lists, Numbers, Transactions, Email, and Keywords.

Crocodile RTCCrocodile RTC API: Crocodile Talk is a personal communications service that integrates voice, video and messaging. The service allows people using different devices to initiate instant messaging sessions, voice calls, and video calls from within the browser without having to download anything extra.

The Crocodile RTC APIs allow developers to easily integrate web communications into their website or web app and manage users. Crocodile's Javascript API enables third-parties to easily and quickly add real-time communications to their applications while the Crocodile REST API provides web services for subscriber management and billing.

FormAssemblyFormAssembly API: FormAssembly is a form management service that allows users to create online forms and to manage the data they gather through those forms. People can use FormAssembly to create payment forms, online applications, surveys, and contact forms. In order to create a form that requests credit card or bank information, users must integrate with one of FormAssembly's secure payment solutions. Forms that request Social Security numbers, passport numbers, or other sensitive information will be disabled unless they first undergo a review process.

FormAssembly is available as a downloadable or cloud-hosted service. Developers can use the REST API to manage user accounts and export data from either version of FormAssembly.

Fuze NetworkFuze Network API: Fuze Network is a credit card payment and recharge service. Fuze Network allows users to send money directly to a credit card as a payment, debit card as a deposit or prepaid card as a load. It can be used for online funds disbursement, gifting, shared, me2me and p2p payments or walk-in cash transactions.

The Fuze Network API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Fuze Network with other applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should email info@fuzenetwork.com for API information.

Help ScoutHelp Scout API: Help Scout is a web-based customer service solution. To customers, Help Scout looks like normal email, without any visible ticket numbers or log-in requirements. It includes collaborative features that allow customer service personnel to communicate internally and not accidentally send duplicate replies to a customer. Help Scout comes with reporting features that expose the volume of queries handled, average response times, common customer questions, and more.

Several apps and a RESTful API are provided to help users extend Help Scout's functions. The Help Scout API allows developers to programmatically read and write data hosted with Help Scout.

KountaKounta API: Targeted towards retail and hospitality businesses, Kounta is scalable, cloud-based point of sale platform. The Kounta POS service can be securely accessed on any device at anytime across a range of channels including online, in-store and mobile.

Kounta offers a RESTful API for the easy integration of Kounta services with third-party applications. Example methods include customers, companies, orders, registers, payments, products, staff, and much more. Both JSON and XML data types are supported.

omniEffect Universal PlatformomniEffect Universal Platform API: omniEffect is an information management software provider based in Australia. omniEffect's Universal Platform is a data and information management service for the enterprise. Universal Platform aims to help businesses uncover the landscape of their information; Easily connect disparate systems, no matter where they are; and to easily model, clean and unify data.

The omniEffect Universal Platform offers a developer API. Full documentation is available with an account and service.

ParselParsel API: Parsel is a shipment tracking service. Parsel provides tracking and verification information from multiple shipping carriers, such as FedEx, UPS, Shopify, and more.

The Parsel API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Parsel with other applications. Some example API methods include verifying addresses, comparing shipping rates, and creating shipping labels.

SpinnerChiefSpinnerChief API: SpinnerChief is designed to generate unique articles to provide content for websites and increase site traffic. It does this by spinning one article into multiple versions of itself, replacing certain words, phrases, and sentences with alternate versions of themselves. SpinnerChief can identify parts of speech, correct grammar errors, and use intelligent auto-replace methods until the article is both human-readable and passes Copyscape (a plagiarism checker).

The SpinnerChief API allows developers to access SpinnerChief's functions from within other programs and can spin articles in 27 different languages.

The Cat APIThe Cat API API: The Cat API is a free web service providing developer access to random cat pictures. API users can specify the number of returned results, image type, image size, and the category of the cat picture. The API also allows an application to vote on images, retrieve votes, favorite images, list categories, and much more.

UberGlobal Payment GatewayUberGlobal Payment Gateway API: UberGlobal Payment Gateway is an Australian ecommerce payment service that allows merchants to securely complete transactions through their online store. The service also offers real-time analytics to help merchants better understand their business and follow transactions in real time.

The UberGlobal Payment Gateway provides a REST API for the integration of UberGlobal Payment services into third-party application. API methods include Purchases, Tokenization, and Refunds. Responses are returned in JSON and authentication is provided via HTTP Basic Authentication.

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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