Step On to the App-Mobile

Apps may be “cute” and little, but those simple blocks have a lot of complex structure behind them. Behind the walls of our apps lies long nights and skills that permit the conjoining of programming languages and carefully-structured algorithms. So, it’s like talking to a computer through math (sounds like a fun time, I know). Apple folks, your favorite iOS apps are built with a programming language called Swift. It didn’t earn its name for no reason — it’s quick, slick, and sharp.

Now, for those of you on the Android side, hello… I am one of you. Our apps are built with the Java programming language. Android, unfortunately, has a reputation for having less secure apps. Regardless, if you are an iOS aficionado or a droid devotee, all modern apps have the same goal: to write as little platform-specific code as possible. The new hot thing to have is a “Rest API”. This uses a URL, like http://www.Google.com, to send and retrieve information. IoT (Internet of Things) is pretty much a bunch of APIs (application program interface) stuffed into one space. “Rest” stands for “Representational State Transfer” and works like a normal website. So, you have a client (user), who talks to the server (computer), and receives data back. Rest API shows what is going on behind a program (the code) for another program.

As for APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) in general, a good example is Google Maps’ API. Let’s say you want to build an app that uses a GPS to get people around (hello, Uber 2.0). Well, you can basically “rent out” Google Maps’ API to embed in your own app so that you don’t have to build your own, less-efficient (no offense) GPS system.

Your Google searches, your tweets, your snaps (always about you) … all of these things are done on Rest APIs. There are some security issues with Rest APIs, because they are not private, but this can be fixed through authentication (so, stop putting “password” or “123” as your password…).

So, you want to build an app. Let me start you off with two words: React Native. Using Javascript, you can use react native to make cross platform apps. This is what you can use to build your app on. First, pick a platform. So, if you want to build for Android, start with Java programming language. You can always switch later if you’re not the “commitment-type”. Then, simply pick a project and start making it.

Got stuck? That’s what Google is for. Research what you don’t know. There are numerous resources out there on the web, like StackOverflow.com (this is a programmer’s lifeline).

Happy coding, my little techies!