Google and Apple each offered up good stuff for developers yesterday. First, Google released a new application programming interface (API) for Google+ that makes it possible to search public posts. Search fields include names, bio, location, tags and descriptions.
"Our first API release let you retrieve public posts," Google+ software engineer Jordanna Chord explained in a blog post. "We’ve now added ways for you to see how people are publicly engaging with those posts — you can find out who re-shared a post or who +1’d a post, and you can read the comments on a post."
The Google+ API opened Sept. 15, but was limited to basic public data, and the wider release Sept. 20 included the API for handouts. The addition of search to the mix will make for a more interesting mix indeed.
"As an API developer, I love seeing what people build on top of the APIs I’ve worked on," added Chord.
Later the same day, Google+ engineer Ebby Amirebrahimi shared on his Google+ page that the Google+ team has made it possible to now disable comments and lock a post before sharing it. By locking it, those who it's shared with can't share it themselves, giving the content's creator total control over who sees it.
"We hope these features help you feel even more secure about sharing on Google+," wrote Amirebrahimi. "We'll keep listening, and rolling out more improvements in the coming weeks and months, so let us know what you think!"
Apple, whose iPhone 4S presentation underwhelmed many, wow'd a good number of audience members with its voice-activated assistant, Siri, whose capabilities hinge on its use of links to non-Siri mobile apps via APIs. You don't need to tell Siri to open Fandango, for example, you just tell it to buy movie tickets and it takes it from there. When Siri's asked for the best slice of pizza/cup of coffee/manicure in a user's area, it races through resources such as Yahoo! and Yelp for answers.
According to ProgrammableWeb, Siri uses more than 35 APIs to find what it needs.
A Siri presentation from Feb. 2010 (Apple officially bought it in April 2010) suggests that the future of search includes a "rise of partnerships among APIs."
"Given the rate at which Apple fanboys adopt next-gen technology, Siri should only get more and more popular and gain access to more and more app APIs," wrote an excited Digital Trends, "making your iPhone as hands-free as it gets."