Today in APIs: Parse Powers 100k Apps, Google Glass & Visual ReKognition, and 11 New APIs

Greg Bates
Jun. 13 2013, 02:00PM EDT

Parse is exploding, now powers 100k apps. Orbeus offers visual recognition for Google Glass without the creep factor. Plus: Apple's iOS gamepad API, the Pinterest API is coming, and 11 new APIs.

Parse Powers 100k Apps, Grows 25% in Month After Facebook Buys it

Parse, the company that powers the back end of many apps by managing server maintenance and infrastructure, has a current growth rate in terms of acquiring apps of 25% per month. Purchased by Facebook a month ago, the company  offers an SDK that enables you to build your app simultaneously for iOS, Android and Windows 8.

Buried in the giant numbers is what could be the most important aspect of the story--what it says about Mark Zuckerberg. As Ken Yeung of TNW hints, this feels a bit like a Warren Buffett acquisition: buy companies not to transform them into your own image, but to invest in a management team you admire. Then offer resources for support--and step out of the way.  As Yeung puts it,

"Having 100,000 apps is a interesting statistic and shows that even under the Facebook brand, developers are not showing any signs of worry when it comes to the social networking company potentially disrupting the experience people have with Parse."

That seems to be what CEO Ilya Sukhar is operating under: "business as usual." But it's a heck of a business at that. No doubt it satisfies Facebook.

ReKognition: Using Facial Recognition on Google Glass, Yet Abides "Don't Be Evil" Creed

Rekognition

How is it that, just weeks after Google banned the use of facial recognition technology on Google Glass over privacy concerns, Orbeus publishes ReKognition, an app that is using that very technology on...Google Glass?

The answer is simple--and smart. Instead of using recognition to identify people, PreKognition uses it to identify attributes. Users don't get to see the names and personal information of those identified. Looking at the graphic, you don't know who these people are, but PreKognition, made by Orbeus, has identified them by gender; it tells you how many men and women are in the room.

In Techcrunch, Sarah Perez points out that there are frustrating limitations:

"The company’s website offers some ideas, like taking attendance in the classroom or determining how many in an audience are male or female, for example. Of course, for many of these use cases, it would be more practical if images could be processed and analyzed in real-time. This is not something that’s possible today with Glass, which doesn’t yet permit direct developer access to the camera, however."

But, counters Ning Xu, the CEO of Orbeus, that may well be possible later as Google improves its product. For now, Orbeus is getting 3 million calls a day for its fremium product.
To get started with the ReKognition REST API, the company offers documentation on a web page.

API News You Shouldn't Miss

11 New APIs

Today we had 11 new APIs added to our API directory including a netrunner card game card database, an automated trading service, a cloud storage and file sharing service, an email campaign optimization service, an online calendar service, a contact information management service and a cloud-based mysql database. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

Android: Netrunner Card DatabaseAndroid: Netrunner Card Database API: Android: Netrunner is a two-player card game set in a dystopian future. In each game, players take on the roles of a mega-corporation and a hacker battling for control of data. The Android: Netrunner Card Database is an online database of cards from the game. Users can search the site directly from the site's main page or programmatically using its API. The Netrunner API operates via REST calls issued in JSON and JSONP.

CoolTradeCoolTrade API: CoolTrade is a robotic stock trading service that allows traders, individual investors, software developers, and black-box algorithmic traders to automate trading. The CoolTrade API is accessible through REST calls or DDE. The API allows users to submit orders, add watch lists, check indicators, view account information, and other calls.

Copy.comCopy.com API: Copy is a cloud-based file storage and sharing service. Users can access their files from anywhere, including on mobile devices, and still keep all of their files synced. Copy users can share their files publicly or privately and are able to decide whether to let viewers sync shared content to their computers or just view it online. Copy is also designed for use by companies. It comes with user and group management functions to help maintain control of proprietary content and company data.

Copy has a RESTful API that is currently in closed Beta. Any applications built with the API in its current form will probably break by the time the API becomes stable.

Customer.ioCustomer.io API: Customer.io helps businesses effectively reach and maintain customers through improved email campaigns. The Customer.io API allows developers to integrate with Customer.io through a RESTful interface. In addition to managing customer profiles, the API allows 3rd party applications to send behavioral events to customer.io. This write-only API supports HTTPS POST calls and requires an API Key.

Google CalDAVGoogle CalDAV API: CalDAV is an open standard Google developed for accessing calendar data all across the internet. The Google CalDAV API uses this standard to grant users programmatic access to Google Calendar contents. The API lets client applications create, edit, delete, and search for calendar events using REST calls issued in JSON format. The Google CalDAV API has been integrated with the Google APIs Console so that developers can add it to their projects simply by enabling it on the Console.

Google CardDAVGoogle CardDAV API: CardDAV is an open standard that Google developed for accessing contact information all across the internet. The Google CardDAV API uses the CardDAV protocol to let users view and manage the contacts stored in their Google accounts programmatically. The API allows client applications to create, edit, delete, and search the user's contacts using REST calls. The Google CardDAV API has been integrated with the Google APIs Console so that developers can add it to their projects simply by enabling it on the Console.

Google Cloud SQLGoogle Cloud SQL API: Google Cloud SQL provides a cloud-based MySQL database that is recommended for small- and medium-sized applications. It offers the same abilities and functions as MySQL along with some additional features. The RESTful Google Cloud SQL API provides methods for working with instances and retrieving information. The API can be used to create, delete, restart, and restore instances as well as import and export databases. Users can also get information on instances and backup runs along with lists of project instances and available tiers of service.

MovesMoves API: Moves is an application for mobile phones that allows users to automatically record their movements throughout the day. Moves uses data and sensors from smart phones to record how much the user moves throughout the day.

The Moves API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Moves with other applications and to create new applications. Some example API methods include retrieving data, managing accounts, and sending data.

NameChkNameChk API: NameChk is a web service allowing users to easily check the availability of a desired or branded username or vanity URL on dozens of social networking and social bookmarking sites. The NameChk API provides developer access to this service, as well as the ability to return a list of available domain names that closely match the specified username. The API is authenticated using OAuth. All calls are JSONP enabled.

SchmapSchmap API: Schmap is a service that allows companies and brands to connect with audiences and customers on Twitter. Schmap provides data about Twitter users for targeting.

The Schmap API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Schmap with other applications. The Schmap API returns data on Twitter users. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should email inquiries@schmap.com for more information.

TraderyTradery API: Tradery is a site for developing environments for the creation, trial, and implementation of trading systems. The service provides position sizing options, over 130 technical indicators, stock screeners, back testers, and many other features. The Tradery API allows provides users with the ability to integrate with third party sites, automate trader sessions, do trade system optimization, forward analysis, automate brokerage account trading, and other functions. An account is required with service, and the API uses REST calls.

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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