There are a couple of ways that you can use the Support SDK in your app. You can choose to use the user interface (UI) that we provide, or you can build your own. To build your own, you need to know what API providers are.
An API, or Application Programming Interface, allows you to get or set information in Support. The API providers in the Support SDK group APIs together and add logic around them to build features that you can use.
API providers have no UI. They are pieces of code that you can use to access Support in your app, and you can build your own UI on top.
Why use API providers?
The out-of-the-box UI that comes with the Support SDK is a great way to get started with providing support in your app. It is designed to suit many use cases, and follows design guidelines that make it easy for your customers to use.
This isn't right for everyone, and you may wish to have a much more custom look and feel. For example, if you have a game, the more stock appearance of our UI may not look right to your players in the context of the game.
Building your own UI gives you greater control of the way that your customers experience support.
How can I use the API providers?
When you install the Support SDK in your app, the API providers are installed as well.
You will be able to use the API providers to send information (eg. create or update a request), or get information (eg. the content of a request, or a Help Center article). You can choose to display this any way you like, and it is usually useful to spend time designing the experience you want before you get started.
Are there any good examples of API providers being used?
Nibblers, a game by Rovio, has a beautiful implementation of the Help Center. This was made using the Support SDK's API providers on both Android and iOS.
SwiftKey also uses the Support SDK's API providers on iOS, fitting in seamlessly with their overall support experience.