Useful APIs

Free APIs We Can Use to Build Productivity and Recreational Apps

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In the software development world, practice makes perfect. Therefore, we should find as many ways to practice programming as possible. With free public APIs, we can practice programming by creating apps that use those APIs.

In this article, we’ll look at some practice project ideas that can use some of those APIs.

HTML to PDF Converter

We can use the pdflayer API to convert HTML documents from files and URLs to PDFs.

All we need is an API key and then we can use it convert HTML to PDFs with little effort.

Document Bookmarker

The Pocket API lets us use their bookmarking service to add, change, and remove bookmarks via their API.

It let us automate the process and view articles that are bookmarked via the API.

With the Article View API, the whole document’s content is returned and we can use it to display the data.

To-Do Lists

We can use some todo list APIs like Todoist and Wunderlist to create our own programs to create todo lists that save that on those service providers via their APIs.

The Todoist API can do a lot like creating projects, templates, items, labels, notes, project notes, file uploads, etc.

Also, we can create set reminders and due dates for todo tasks.

These are things that’ll take a lot of effort on our end to do. With this API, we can do that with half the effort since we eliminated the need to build an API to do all that.

The Wunderlist API has similar capabilities. We can do the same things with it, put add memberships for accessing todo lists.

And we can create webhooks to create todo lists.

Event Information App

There’s APIs for big event websites like Eventbrite, Picatic, Ticketmaster which can be used to retrieve events.

The Eventbrite API gives us access to their API via OAuth. It gives us data on event capacity, description, schedule, teams, and more.

We can also get data on organizations’ data including their members and their roles.

Furthermore, we can get the seat map for various venues with it.

The Ticketmaster API provides similar data as the Eventbrite API so that we can get the same kind of data with it. The difference is that we use an API key for authentication instead of OAuth.

Food and Drink Apps

We can get data from various food and drink APIs like the LCBO API to get alcohol data from the government liquor store in Ontario, Canada.

It has data on images, winery information, retail locations of the liquor store chain, inventory of liquor in different locations and more.

If we want to create a food app, we can create an app using the Recipe Puppy API.

The API only has one endpoint. We can search for recipes store in the database behind the API with the keywords we enter in.

It supports pagination so that it won’t overwhelm their API servers.

Restaurant App

A restaurant app is a useful app for discovering restaurants. Frameworks like the Zomato API lets us get information like restaurant name and location, reviews, menus, etc.

All we need is an API key to access their data.

We can also get restaurant data organized by various things like categories, cities, collections, cuisines, and geolocation coordinates.

It can also be used to find the daily menu, restaurant info, and reviews for a given restaurant.

Beer App

With the PunkAPI, we can create our own app to look up beer information.

No authentication is required for this API, but there’s a rate limit for a given IP address.

It returns data like beer name, the yeast beer is made from, the year range that the beer is brewed, and the hops and malt content.

It can also return a random beer.


We can do a lot with free APIs. There are APIs to convert HTML to PDF, so we can make our own document format converter app.

Also, we can get data about restaurants, food, recipes, drinks, and more if we’re interested in food. Therefore, we can use them to make our own apps to search and display the data our way.

Finally, we can make our own apps to display event and venue data so that we can display the data the way we want to.

By John Au-Yeung

Web developer specializing in React, Vue, and front end development.

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