Application programing interfaces (API’s) are changing the way that users think of applications and even the definition of what an application means. I see this more and more in my personal technology life, as most of my web and iPad applications rely on a service for login (Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn to name a few), most applications (especially mobile) want to store or read things from my personal storage area (mostly Dropbox, but also Google Drive), applications (especially web) want to write and read from social profiles and many of the applications now talk to each other in new and innovate ways through API integration.
A great example of Dropbox integration is an multi-mode app I use called Songbook by a little company named LinkeSOFT. The program allows you to keep the words and chords to songs in an easy way. It has apps for apple, windows and idevices, and they all can link back to a central Dropbox repository. This allows me to always have my 600+ song catalog in my pocket in case I find a random piano and guitar and get the urge to show off!
Another example is this site’s comment section which uses a web-based comment app called Disqus. Disqus allows for you to login once with your Google+ or LinkedIn account and then you can move from site to site and never have to log in again to comment. Disqus has its own social interaction that gives you new links with comments that fit your profile.
My final example is my current “virtual fitness app”, which was the catalyst for this post. I recently got the new Fitbit force. It has a great application and it connects via API into MyFitnesspal where I already was tracking my calories (intake and exercise) manually. MyFitnessPal now can adjust my “non exercise” calories to be able to show how active I am in a day. I did some research on how others are using the Fitbit and found the Polar H7 that is a bluetooth only heart rate monitor and a Withings wireless scale. I am using another app, called Digifit to monitor exercise and it also links back into MyFitessPal as does the scale with my daily rate.
All of this creates a custom personal workout app, that tracks my calorie intake, daily activity, exercise based on heart rate and weight. I just go to one app to see it all. This virtual connected application is so helpful and seamless to track my full exercise and nutrition.