Thursday, December 13, 2012

Spreedy Payment Gateway Cost ZERO Cent Per Transaction

Unlike other payment gateways (listen recurly, stripe), spreedy does not charge a % and minimal per transaction fee.

They have an annual plan $349/month!

0¢ per transaction!

Caveat: You must be a startup to enjoy that.

The definition of "startup" is by an honour system. No rules.

Otherwise, consider their Normal Plans. Not bad too, as they a per month subscription, and 20-40¢ per transaction. There is no % fee per transaction.

If I am a startup, I will go with Spreedy.

PS: First encountered Spreedy when I signed up with SaneBox - Add Sanity to your Crazy Email Routine.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

SwitchCoder - Telephony Platform without API

SwitchCoder is kind of like Twilio, but without the RESTful APIs.

Instead, they provide a javascript engine for you to write your code.

This javascript way of using telephony service is not new. Tropo has implemented that for a long time.

Their pricing is fairly similar to Twilio, Tropo, Plivio (and a dozen):
  • 1 cent per minute
  • 1 cent per SMS
  • $0.50 per phone number

Friday, November 16, 2012

Phewtick API

Phewtick is an iPhone/Android app that let users earn cash as they meet up with friends.

Yes, you didn't hear wrong. It EARNS you CASH$!

There is Phewtick-hack on Github that shows the API being used by the app. Using their very own API, you could automate the "meet-ups" and earn cash automatically. If only they could cash out in the end.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Apply a Job via API (Parse)

If you have not heard, is an API provider that helps you build mobile apps (with server-client architecture), without touching the server side!

That is all good news for one-man-shop mobile developer.

If you are interested in working for this fast growing startup, you can apply via API.

There are too many good things I found after reading their documentation - CRUD any object to Parse server, manage user sign up and login and forget password, push messaging, etc..

Anyway, awesome doc with clear, comprehensive, and nice fonts.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mobile SDK for Customer Feedback/Support

On the web, there are many useful services such as UserVoice, Zendesk and Olark for communicating with your customers.

But on the mobile, there is a lack of such an SDK.

But there are actually 2 (pretty new services) for mobile platforms such as iOS.

1. Helpshift - Provides searchable FAQ and help support

2. Neemware - Send push in-app messages for multiple choice surveys, feedbacks and cross promote apps

Neemware looks pretty cool with a reasonable pricing.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The best flights API - FlightStats

FlightStatus API provides information on airport and flights (even live). They recently released their new (improved) Flex API.

A lookup at ProgrammableWeb even mentioned Siri as one of it's mashup.

It is free to evaluate for 30 days. Then you could decide if you want a commercial plan. For example, it is $0.004 to check a flight status.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

TelAPI - Another telephony API like Twilio

TelAPI is out of beta today.

TelAPI is like Twilio, a product for developers to easily create voice/sms apps. The features they offer is largely similar. Pricing also the same.

There is only one unique feature I see:

  • Voice and audio effects
They support TwiML (Twilio proprietary XML syntax to instruct the call flow) AND also Restful web API. Cool if you don't have to know the TwiML.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Funny Gifs on API has a couple of funny Gifs on API, for both API consumers and producers. Visit for a laugh.

My favorites:

when i realize a competitor asked for an API key
Youre under arrest. Stop your engines.gif Youre under arrest. Stop your engine | lol gif | Movie Indian Flip Car

what i feel when i use a REST/JSON API
Fuck you I m an ostrich Fuck You! Im an Ostrich | lol gif | Ski Animal

When I find code samples in API documentation
the carlton dance The carlton dance | lol gif | Movie Hypnotic

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Should API support Cross Site Scripting - CORS, JSONP?

One of the most requested feature for API provider would be support for CORS or JSONP.

This usually comes from client side developers using Javascript or Flash, which has a strict same origin policy (a form of security).

One of the very good guide comes from Apigee:

1.       Always make it possible for your API to return JSON.
2.       Support JSONP as much as you can (since you can't use it to upload data that doesn't fit in the URL) and leave it up to the users of your API to assess the security risks
3.       Support CORS by returning the Access-Control-Allow-Origin header on all API responses and implementing the OPTIONS verb as specified in the CORS spec.
4.       If you do the above your API will also support UMP.
5.       Return a crossdomain.xml and clientaccesspolicy.xml file from the top level of your API domain for Flash and Silverlight clients.

And looks like CORS is the trend. You could do JSONP too, but that was more of a hackaround. Youtube, Dropbox, etc are all implementing CORS.

Enable CORS!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

API Design is about Naming

API design is about naming.

A lot of times, it is about choosing a right name, and making sure they makes sense and is consistent throughout.

It is like a little API language of itself, as quoted by Joshua Bloch.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Zapier, the ifttt for developers

Zapier provides a similar service to ifttt, that is to connect web services easily (via API, but without any programming knowledge).

For example, when you have a new Trello card, you can trigger to send a Twilio SMS.

I blogged about ifttt, and that an API might be coming. Zapier just done that.

I have tried adding my RESTful API to Zapier platform, and it took me just 1 hour. Our API wasn't even Perfect, and I took an additional minute to use their scripting API to make things work.

Awesome job, Zapier!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

ChupaMobile Selling ZBarSDK for $16?

I covered ZBar earlier, which is an SDK for reading QR codes or barcodes. I thought ZBar is a free open source, governed by LGPL.

Then I stumbled upon QR Code Reader on Chupa Mobile, selling at $16. It is a obviously ZBar, renamed to that.

I heard of some bad things about Chupa.. some "developers" are uploading open source components and selling them in Chupa marketplace. So I wondered if ZBar is one of them.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Viddy API - Mashery Made, with Interactive Doc

Viddy is an iPhone app that beatify your video, kind of like Instagram for video.

Viddy API is done very nicely, made with Mashery, so you can use the same Mashery credentials to log in. Their interactive doc is also great to use, and seems like they implemented using Wordnik framework, as opposed to Mashery's.

You can also join their "Rule the Beach" developer contest, and stand to win $10,000 and chance to fly to meet them at a beach, I suppose.

ZBarSDK - QR and barcode reader for iPhone

ZBarSDK is an open source library for reading barcodes and QR codes.

It supports the popular iPhone/iOS, and looks like the best library for the job. Creating an app using ZBarSDK is very easy, and they provided example project to help get started.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Twitter API Changes is set to Kill Third-Party Apps

Read an interpretation of Twitter's API changes.

Developers now got to work with more restrictions, display guidelines, ads guidelines, etc.. As many of the third-party apps are competing directly with Twitter's client (iPhone/Mac), it is of no surprise that the Twitter's board are making life hard for them.

It is funny that as a service becomes popular, it's API becomes less useful.

Paymill, the new Payment API

Stripe is the hottest REST API for Payment.

It has now being cloned by the infamous Rocket Internet.

Paymill is the new API, and the differentiating factor now is that it supports Germany. Even it's documentation is in German.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Survey of API Pain Points

Want to know the biggest headaches when in comes to API integration?

Read the survey results from YourTrove, who ran the survey on Hacker News.

Not surprisingly, the pains are:

  • Poor documentation (how you loathe poor documentation)
  • OAuth (oh wow, do you hate OAuth)
  • Poor error handling
  • Lack of example code
  • Lack of test environments
  • Lack of standardized libraries across languages
  • APIs that change/break frequently (huge shout out to Facebook here, like you're surprised)
  • Normalizing data to match internal data structures
  • Line between use and abuse
  • Arbitrary throttling (differences between services)
  • Differing standards (REST v SOAP v XML-RPC, XML v JSON v POST, versioning v not, etc.)
  • Getting services to talk to a dev machine behind a firewall       

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Copify - An API for Copywriting

You might have outsourced your copywriting to,, or even to (for a mere $5)!

Copify is going into a very specific vertical of outsourcing. Or you can call them a niche.

With their network of approved writers, you can easily post your project offer and find someone to do the job.

And Copify takes it to another level with their Copify API! You can POST/GET/PUT/DELETE jobs!

Sunday, August 5, 2012 for REST documentation, like Swagger

1 year ago, I covered Swagger, a REST API documentation framework.

What other alternatives are there 1 year later?

There are a few, of which I like to cover is a pretty cool way to document your API. It works via a blueprint style (a custom DSL). Like this:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Did Twilio Pricing Became Worse?

I remembered Twilio pricing used to be very simple. Only a couple of components (Number, Voice minutes, SMS) all fitted in 1 page.

Now, it seems to be in 3 different pages!

And not to mention that the same number you subscribed could be used across Voice and SMS.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mandrill, a transactional email API like Amazon SES

Amazon SES is awesome, said MailChimp 1 year ago.

Developers do need transactional email API (1-to-1 email, as compared to MailChimp's 1-to-many service) for sending bills, receipts, etc. And so MailChimp integrated Amazon SES into their service, providing many of the features that MailChimp already provides.

Then 1 year later.. Mailchimp has a Mandrill :)

Mandrill is not based on Amazon SES. It is quite obviously a rival, as they deprecate MailChimp STS that integrates Amazon SES.

There are also other transactional email API providers like MailGun, Sendgrid, ...

Monday, July 9, 2012, faced-off! provides a face recognition API.

It's biggest customer is Facebook. And recently, Facebook acquired the company, and killed off it's API!

It's a rather sad consequences from a good acquisition. It's unhealthy too, since that makes developer think:

Is this API going to last forever, and never get dropped no matter what?

Don't let open API be a trap.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Email in a RESTful API

There are many Email providers that provide a restful web API. The cost is usually starting from $0.10 per thousand emails.

Mailgun, Sendgrid, Amazon AWS, ...

Compare them!

Curl it easily using Mailgun

curl --user api:key \     
     -F from='Shrek <>' \
     -F to='Fiona <>' \
     -F subject='Status update' \
     -F text='The cat is off the hook'

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Yahoo! Search API - BOSS

Google, the king of search, used to provide a cool web search API. But that has been deprecated.

An alternative to Google Search API is Yahoo! Check out BOSS. You read it correctly, boss.

It is a paid API at $0.80 per 1,000 queries. Kind of expensive.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Foursquare Connect App

It sounds like Facebook Connect App, however it is not much like Facebook connect.

Read about this from their engineering blog post, and their App Platform documentation to request a preview.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Zynga API - With Friends

Zynga announced that it will release a public API that will allow third-party developers to take advantage of its technology.

Don't rush to find out what their API offers.

Because it is not there yet. Go to, and all you can is watch a unrelated video, and contact them.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pusher: Another real-time push vs PubNub

In my last post, I mentioned PubNub as a popular real time push service.

There a similar service, call Pusher.

There are some differences. Technically, Pusher uses Websocket while PubNub uses Http Streaming/Long Polling techniques.

But both techniques work pretty well, so that aside, let's look at their pricing.

The difference in pricing is that Pusher is somehow simpler and better than PubNub. Pusher does not have a "channel" concept. That means you can have as many connections in a single channel even with their lower tier plans! Pusher does not make channel part of their pricing!

Another the number of from messages Pusher looks to be more.

If I will to use PubNub, looks like the highest tier Galaxy plan is the only choice to go.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

SMRT API - bus arrival timing

SMRT (Singapore bus company) does have some APIs, including that of real time bus arrival time.

For example:

I first found out about the API from UP Singapore, a hackathon event. But it might be there just for the 2 weeks event.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Obama Ordered All Government Agencies to Have an API

To help better serve Americans, Obama has issued a directive that requires all agencies to establish programming interfaces for internal and external developers to use, and make “applicable Government information open and machine-readable by default.”

Each agency has to put up their digital strategy on their .gov website in 90 days. Let's see..

Friday, June 8, 2012

Diablo 3 API - Hero Profile etc

Games are now open with API too.

Blizzard's WoW and Diablo 3 have fairly similar API for the game.

Read all about an introduction preview to Diablo 3 API. More information at the forum.

Anyway, there isn't an Auction House API, and is not planned.

To request for an API key, read this. You basically send an email to with subject "Application Registration Request" and your contact information and explain why you need the key.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Google Drive API

Almost as soon as Google Drive was launched, Google Drive API is launched. You can CRUD files on yours, or your users, Google Drive.

The API is launched with 5 SDKs at start - Java, Python, PHP, .NET and Ruby.

This is again a storage API.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guides for iOS library design

Matt Gemmell had written 25 good rules for API design, specifically for developers writing iOS/Mac libraries, frameworks, or resuable components.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bus API for Singapore

LTA Singapore does make available lot of data for public transportation at their Data Mall. You can find bus routes, real time traffic images, car parks info, etc. Developers have to fill in a request form to use the data, perhaps their API?

There is also bus arrival time from the website, but unfortunately not an API.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The REST API for Credit Card Payment

You might thought Paypal API would be mentioned.

But no, it's Stripe, the new kid on the block.

It is so simple to charge to a credit card with it's 1 line of http request:

curl \
   -u vtUQeOtUnYr7PGCLQ96Ul4zqpDUO4sOE: \
   -d amount=400 \
   -d currency=usd \
   -d "description=Charge for" \
   -d "card[number]=4242424242424242" \
   -d "card[exp_month]=12" \
   -d "card[exp_year]=2012" \
   -d "card[cvc]=123"

Charges: 2.9% + 30 cents

Friday, May 18, 2012

ifttt API (coming?)

It will be very cool to have an API that unifies all others (at least the popular ones in iftttt)!

Looks like it will come someday!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Unofficial Xbox Live API

It's an unofficial Xbox API.

You can look up a profile, friend list, achievements and search. Pretty basic stuff.

I have no idea how they did it. Enlighten me if you know.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Develop iPad Games Using an iPad - for non-programmer

Turned out there's even a tool, in the form of an iPad app, for building iPad games!

Check out Codea (formerly Codify) on the App Store.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Phono SDK Makes Call From Your Web Browser

Phono provides an SDK to make calls from your web browser. To be more specific, they provide a javascript library that is easy to integrate into a web development.

It is now using flash technology (for mic), but WebRTC is coming soon (as they claimed).

Phono is not the only library that does voice call from a web browser. Twilio Client is another one.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Weather API

Wunderground provides a wonderful weather API.

They have a simple API request for all the different "feature" such as current conditions, forecast, history, hourly, etc..[FEATURE…]/q/QUERY.FORMAT

But it is not a really free API. Free use is limited to 500 calls a day, and 10 per min.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

PubNub: Real time push made easy

PubNub is a product for developers to implement real time push notifications easy.

You might have been doing real time messaging for a long time and wonder what's with PubNub? Yup, if you don't use PubNub, you can still do real time messaging be using XMPP or jabber technology.

However, with PubNub, you can do away with setting up your XMPP server and worry about max connection per thread etc.. PubNub makes it easy to use for your server and client side.

Like all cloud service, this comes with a fee. It is free if you send 1 million messages per month (similar to UrbanAirship/Xtify). Otherwise, pay $15 per month and additional $1 for each 1 million messages.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Embed Chat Client Into Your iPhone App

Mobile app developers love to engage their users.

If you are one of them, and looking for a chat client SDK that can be used to embed into your mobile app, then you have to check out QuickBlox. The service is not free.

An alternative is Airgram, which offer a standalone app to engage your mobile users.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Xtify is like Urban Airship

Xtify is another webservice for Push Notifications. Similar to Urban Airship, but Xtify seems to position themselves more than just that.

Xtify provides their portal with more control and rules to send out (automated) push notifications. Their slogan is "Mobile Customer Engagement", not just push.

However, sometimes all you want is a simple web service for Push, that is where Urban Airship is more suitable.

The pricing structure for both are fairly similar.

Standard for SMS/Network API

GSMA does have a mandate on how network APIs should be designed.

For example, this is what they mandated for SMS Restful API.

AFAIK, Simplified does follow the "rules". But does it do any good?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Java Framework for Creating RESTful API

Dropwizard is a Java framework for developing ops-friendly, high-performance, RESTful web services.

It is developed by Yammer, and is using matured a couple of matured Java libraries to get it to work. It is a out-of-the-box framework, including a Jetty HTTP web server.

And its open-sourced.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Photo Infrastructure - Chute API

If you have ever dealt with photos (or media files) for your website or mobile apps, you know how difficult it is to store, resize, crop, etc..

Chute API is a infrastructure as a service, specifically for photos! Check out the documentation here. They are currently in beta, and is free to use, though they will charge for additional features in the future.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Parse - Add a backend with learning server side coding

One of the peeves for mobile developer is that if they are building a server-client app, not only do they need to learn the framework from the client side (such as iOS, Android, WP7), they ALSO need to learn how to code the server side.

On the server side development, it involves a couple of things. You need to setup the server, use a certain web framework, setup database, and create the APIs.

Parse is a development tools that help to get rid of these cumbersome server side development. It provides iOS and Android SDK that helps to connect to Parse backend and store your objects!

It is free if you have less than 200,000 API requests a month. Anymore, you would be paying $9 to $99.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Automate Your Calls with DialMyCall API

DialMyCalls is a service for automatically placing calls (or SMS) to multiple phone simultaneously.

It is useful when you want to RSVP your event or play a Valentine dedication MP3 to your friends. It is a paid service for US only.

There is also an API for their service!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

SugarCRM has REST API, SalesForce does not

In this era where every service interconnects via API, having a REST API becomes a selling factor. You can observe in SugarCRM vs SalesForce comparison:

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


WHOIS is a good service to find out who is behind the domain. It usually reveals the name and emails address of the website owner.

Of course, there is a WHOIS API. One of the most popular ones is from whoisxmlapi. However, pricing starts from $15 for 1,000 queries.

If you want free service, then you might want to check out Adam's open source Whois API.

Monday, January 9, 2012