10 Web APIs That Help With Your Web App Development

Fri Jun 03 2022

6 min read

When developing a web application, you consume all types of APIs. The public REST APIs lets you fetch data from external servers to build Jamstack applications. The Web APIs give you access to the browser functionality to help you with website development. GraphQL APIs allow you to query precisely the data you need.

If you require public REST APIs to get data, you can check out RapidAPI Hub.

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Web APIs are crucial for building highly interactive, performant, and user-friendly websites. It provides you with functionalities that you can use to add more features to your website. Web APIs are primarily used with JavaScript though this is not always the case.

Let’s look at 10 Web APIs that can help make your web app development easier, faster, and simpler. So without any further ado, let’s jump in!

Fetch API

It is an extremely useful Web API since it lets you talk with public REST APIs. Fetch is an asynchronous Web API that comes with native JavaScript, and it returns the data in the form of promises. Unlike other HTTP packages, you do not install it via npm or yarn, and you can also use it to call any server APIs.

You can use the fetch API using the fetch method. It takes multiple arguments, and among them, one of them is required, i.e., the REST API URL.

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Image Capture API

This web API provides you access to the device’s camera so you can take a picture. You can then download the image on the computer. Moreover, the Image Capture API gives you the device’s information like whether it has a flash attached to it, the size of the image, and red-eye detection. You also have control of the device’s zoom level, ISO, brightness, contrast, etc. All these settings can be changed within the device’s limit using the API.

Because of privacy concerns, you need to explicitly permit the API to access the camera to prevent unwanted use.

Vanilla JavaScript

Geolocation API

This web API returns the geographical latitudes and longitudes and the accuracy to which it is correct. It utilizes the device’s GPS chip to get location. If the chip is not present, it uses the cellular triangulation method to get the coordinates. The accuracy may vary in this case along with other factors.

The Geolocation API requires the user to permit the website to enable location services explicitly. The permission can later be overridden if the user desires.

Vanilla JavaScript

Credentials Management API

The API lets you save user credentials in your internet browsers. It also helps you retrieve credentials, public keys, and federated credentials for a specific website. Due to this, the user can sign in without remembering their password. It is a security improvement since users do not have to write down their passwords in a notebook.

All the passwords saved via the Credential Management API are put into the browser’s storage. You can look at them if you have the appropriate user credentials since they are protected.

Let’s take a look at how the API stores credentials:

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Let’s fetch the stored credentials now:

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Clipboard API

It is a simple API that provides access to the operating system’s clipboard. You can paste content on it and even read from it. Pasting the content on the clipboard does not require any permission, but accessing the clipboard’s content is gated behind the Permission API.

Here is how clipboard API writes to the OS clipboard:

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You can read from the clipboard like this:

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Intersection Observer API

As the name suggests, it is an Observer API. It notice changes in real-time. This API observes an element intersection with another element and then fires a callback function when it occurs.

The Intersection Observer API provides a DOM element’s visibility access relative to another element. It is asynchronous and observes the changes in a DOM element. The API has several use cases but is mostly used for the following:

Lazy Loading Infinite Scroll Visibility of advertisement Executing Animations

Permissions API

This web API lets you access the permission status of different APIs in a generalized manner. Using it, you can see whether a particular API has been granted permission or not. Unfortunately, this API is not supported on both Safari and Internet Explorer. It is also not supported on several versions of Firefox.

History API

This API lets you go back and forth between web pages in your session history. It’s a relatively simple API, and you can use it through the window object. It has a single interface that contains several methods. Among these methods, two of them let you go back and forth between the user’s history.

You can go back to the previous page in the session history using the back method provided by the History interface.

Vanilla JavaScript

HTML Drag And Drop API

This API lets you make elements draggable in a website. All you need to do is set the value of draggable property to true. Afterward, you would need to write down appropriate functions to handle different events like the drag, drop, dragover, etc. These events fires at different intervals when you start dragging an element.

Howdy, you! You can drag me into the top and bottom blocks.

Web Storage API

It is a Web API that provides you with different functions to store key/value pairs in your browser. It is often referred to as DOM storage to store client-side data that you do not want to send with an HTTP request header.

Web Storage API is different from cookies because it provides more storage capacity. There are two types of Web Storage APIs:

  • Local Storage
  • Session Storage

You can easily write data to the local storage. Let’s take a look at how:

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Reading the data is also quite simple:

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You can also delete the data you stored in local storage:

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Wrap Up

These are some of the many Web APIs that browsers provide you from the get-go. They are simple and easy to use. Before we wrap up, we have written pieces on almost all of these APIs that you can find here.