Make Your Mobile App Better by Integrating With an SMS API

Posted by Tristan Barnum on Jun 19, 2013

SMS API for Mobile ApplicationsIn the modern application development world, developers are frequently faced with the need to link to another device that belongs to the user of their app, either for correspondence, or for confirmation.

With the mobile computing trend changing daily, and new devices coming on the market frequently, there is the need to settle on one homing location that you can count on finding your user- their mobile phone, where they installed your app in the first place! This has given rise to the integration of SMS APIs in mobile applications.

The number of reasons why you would want to integrate SMS messaging capabilities into your mobile app is also growing by the day, but already there are a good number of reasons developers should enable their mobile applications to send and receive SMS messages. 

Are you who you say you are?

By incorporating an automatic SMS generation and sending system into your app, you have the chance of confirming the identity of your users. The alternative to this would be deploying complicated captchas and hope that you do not shut out users whose visual acuity is not good enough to fish out the wobbly letters on the captcha, or other convoluted user verification methods.

An example of an implementation of this is in Facebook where a four digit code/PIN is sent to your phone that you can use to confirm your account is associated with that particular mobile device. This paves the way for a more streamlined user experience through trusted devices.

Improving Usability

Users that download your application are already confirming that they have a smart phone, just in the simple act of getting your app. Use this information to correspond with them where you know they are- on their mobile phone, and send them messages you know they'll get. 

There are hacks to get around having to partner with an SMS service provider, but none of them are really great for your user, and therefore, aren't really great for your app. If you know the carrier your user has, for example, that carrier may have a gateway that accepts emails and converts them to SMS and sends them to the user. But keep in mind that many users are loathe to part with this information (You want to know who my carrier is? No way.) and when you're asking them to complete a form in an app, one more form field is friction that can lead to them abandoning the form entirely (and worst-case, they abandon your entire app).

Furthermore, these direct carrier gateways have been used and abused by spammers and are now a lot less reliable than they used to be, often delaying the delivery of your message by several hours or not delivering it at all.

Tie it All Together With an SMS API

The truth is that using an SMS API is a low cost solution to the problem of getting your app to send SMS, and trying to hack your way around doing what's best for your user to save a penny (and yes, we're really talking about pennies) is not the best solution. Most SMS services, including the one from Voxox, are simple web service APIs where you pass parameters in a url to send messages like this:


Pretty simple, right? So, why not use a web service API for sending SMS to your users, it's:

  • Easy to integrate into your app
  • Provides the best experience for your users
  • Very inexpensive (as low as half a penny per message)

There are a ton of applications out there, and only you know why your app should be sending SMS (unless you tell me in the comments, of course!), but as long as you're doing right by your users and making it easy on yourself with a web service to send your messages, it stands to reason that your mobile app will be better when you integrate with an SMS API.

Tags: Messaging, SMS