As mobile app development becomes increasingly popular, developers are constantly seeking ways to simplify their workflow and streamline the development process. One way to achieve this is through the use of top Android libraries, which offer pre-built code and functions that can be integrated into an app.
In the world of Android development, there are a vast array of libraries available to choose from, each offering its own unique set of features and benefits. In this blog, we will explore 15 of the most popular and useful Android Libraries for app development, covering multiple aspects and functions for a great android application development. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or just starting, these libraries are sure to save you time and effort while helping you create high-quality, feature-rich apps.
What are Android Libraries?
An android library is something that will help you easily build apps with pre-written codes for different functions. It has everything including source code, resource files, a detailed help guide and any other documentation you need to build an Android app.
Why use Android Libraries for App Development?
Using Android libraries is a must-do if you are yearning to become an expert in Android App Development. Big companies providing Android App Development services have a team of developers who are apt in using these libraries to the best of their use.
- One of the primary reasons to use Android libraries for app development is to speed up the development process. According to a report by Red Hat, using pre-built components and libraries can save up to 30% of development time, allowing developers to focus on core app features and functionality.
- Android libraries ensure consistency and stability in the codebase, making it easier to maintain and scale the application over time.
- There are several resources available for Android libraries and the vast community support makes it easier to find the solutions
- According to a report by Statista, the number of apps available in the Google Play Store reached 2.87 million in August 2021
Top 15 Android Libraries To Use For App Development
Glide is one of the best image libraries proving smooth and quick image loading. Be it from an internal or external source, you can fetch, decode and display images in a much more convenient way.
The library is highly recommended by Google and is preferred by developers. Glide smoothens the scrolling process and makes using the application easy to use.
How to use Glide?
- Start by adding Glide to dependencies in the build.gradle
- Design a comprehensive layout file for your project
- You can load the images into ImageView with Glide with the help of a fragment class
- The next step will be adding the given fragment to the activity through Navigation Component
- After this, add internet permission to the Android Manifest
- The last step is to bring Gradle into sync and then your Glide is ready for loading images smoothly
Created by Square, Picasso is an amazing image library for Android. It helps to download and save images optimally. With Picasso, you can receive and download images with compressed size and the same quality.
It is good at handling download cancellation, image transformation, automating caching, etc. Some of its features are similar to Glide.
How to use Picasso?
- Start with adding a new project in Android Studio
- Add the Picasso dependency to your build.gradle file
- Next, you need to incorporate an ImageView layout into the activity.xml file
- Now create the ImageView instance in the layout in Mainactivity.java
- Hence, your Picasso is ready to download and store the images
ExoPlayer is one of the best media-playing android libraries developed by Google. It supports playing videos and audio both online and offline. Exoplayer works better than Android’s MediaPlayer API as it uses advanced features like Dash and SmoothStreaming playbacks. Also, with this library, you can customize this one and update it on the PlayStore.
How to use ExoPlayer?
- Start by adding ExoPlayer’s dependency to your project
- Secondly, make a “SimpleExoPlayer” instance
- Connect it to the View
- Check by adding a MediaItem to the player
- If it plays well, release the player
It is one of the best android network libraries developed by Google to send and receive HTTP requests. Retrofit is a type-fast REST client for Android and makes it easier for developers to work with HTTP requests.
It can work with multiple types of data formats, request, and response caching. The ability to work with custom converters makes it a more powerful and preferred library for Android development.
It also provides an easy API to handle error cases and aids with multiple callback methods for success and failure.
How to use Retrofit?
- Add Retrofit dependency on your build.gradle file
- Internet Permission is to be added to Android Manifest for enabling network transactions
- Parse the JSON data by adding the POJO model
- Now, generate a Retrofit instance
- Add multiple API interfaces to support different network transactions
- Generate your data list and launch your app
Dagger2 is a compile-time framework that helps developers to simplify the complexity of Android development codes. It injects code dependencies into the app by using annotations and code generation. This provides the clean and modular architecture of an Android application making a heavy application run smoothly.
How to use Dagger2?
- Add the latest version of Dagger2 to your project build.gradle file
- Make a list of dependencies you want to inject into the app’s components
- Create a Dagger2 module to add the dependencies
- Create a Dagger2 component to link the module and the injection target.
- Annotate the injection target for the dependencies
- Inject the dependencies in the target by creating a component instance
ButterKnife is a view-binding Android Library developed by Jake Wharton of Square. Similar to Dagger2, it reduced the boilerplate code by using annotations. With ButterKnife, the need for findViewbyId() is reduced which helps to bind Android views to the code easily. As the code simplifies, it can be easily altered and maintained as needed.
How to use ButterKnife?
- Add ButterKnife dependency to your Android project
- Make a list of views you want to bind with the code
- Annotate the views with the appropriate bind view annotation
- Now use the ButterKnife method to bind the annotated views
7. Android Databinding Library
Android Databinding Library is provided by Google. It helps to bind UI components to the data sources so that when the data changes, the updates are automatically available in the UI. This library needs the version of Android Studio 1.3 to operate. Unlike ButterKnife and Dagger2, it does not use annotations.
How to use Android Databinding?
- Add Data Binding in your android project’s build.gradle file and your layout XML file
- Access the binding object to your activity
- Finally, Bind data to your UI elements
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8. RxJava2 & RxAndroid
Both of these libraries provide reactive programming for building high-performance, efficient Android applications. RxJava provides support for Java reactive programming. It can customize data streams and supports concurrency and multithreading as well.
While RxAndroid provides features and utilities for RxJava2. It helps developers to work easily with different threads, and manage asynchronous tasks and errors.
How to use RxJava2 & RxAndroid
- Add both dependencies to your Android Project
- Create an observable that emits a sequence of data
- For receiving the data, you need to subscribe to this observable
- To run different threads, use RxAndroid
- Use the RxJava2 operator to transform the data streams
With the JUnit testing library, developers can create, run and debug tests on their android applications with ease. JUnit is a framework specifically for Java projects.
How to use JUnit
- Add JUnit dependency to your project’s file
- Create new tests with test methods for specific behavior of the code
- Run tests with JUnit runners like Eclipse or IntelliJ IDEA
Mockito is a popular Java library for creating mock objects, and Mockito for Android is an extension of the Mockito library that is specifically designed for testing Android applications. Mockito for Android provides tools and utilities that enable developers to easily create and use mock objects in their tests, allowing for more robust and reliable unit testing of Android applications.
How to Use Mockito?
- Add Mockito dependency on your build path/build.gradle file or Maven
- Create test classes for different codes
- Run tests using a testing framework
- Define the mock object’s behavior using stubbing
- Verify the behavior of the mock object using the verification
It is another testing framework and an UI library for android that helps developers to run automated UI tests. Espresso uses powerful API to interact with UI components to stimulate user actions and see if they are running all right. The API automatically synchronizes with the user actions available in the application.
How to Use Espresso?
- Add Espresso dependencies to build.gradle file
- Write test code using Espresso’s API
- Run the tests using a testing framework like JUnit
Room is an Android persistence library that helps developers to work easily with databases in Android apps. It provides an abstraction layer over SQLite and is a part of the Android JetPack Libraries. Some of the benefits of using Room are better performance, security and code-simplification. Also, it provides support for database migration and compile-time checking of SQL statements.
How to use Room?
- Add Room dependencies in build.gradle file
- Create a database for Room
- Create entities that represent a database table
- Create a data access object (DAO) interface to define database operations
- Finally, use Room in your code
Calligraphy is an open-source Android library designed to provide a simple way to use custom fonts in Android applications. It was created by Chris Jenx and has become a popular choice among Android developers looking to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to their applications. The library allows developers to set custom fonts for all text-related elements.
How to use Calligraphy?
- Add the Calligraphy dependency to your build.gradle file
- Create a class to return the path to your custom font file
- Set the default font using Calligraphy configuration
- Add the custom font attribute to the target view group and set its value to the path of the custom font file in your XML layout files
- Run the application to see the font file applied to the view group
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14. Custom Fonts with Support Library
Custom Fonts with Support is an open-source Android library designed to simplify the process of using custom fonts in Android applications. The library was created by Chris Banes and has become a popular choice among Android developers.
The library provides a straightforward API for developers to use custom fonts in their applications. Custom Fonts with Support provides a FontTextView and FontEditText, which are subclasses of the standard Android TextView and EditText classes. These subclasses allow developers to specify a custom font for the “text view” or “edit text view”.
How to Use Custom Fonts with Support?
- Add Custom Fonts with Support to your Android Project
- Create a new Fonts folder and add the custom font file to it
- Apply the custom fonts in your XML layout file
- Add the FontName to the custom font file and run the application to see the results
Created by Evernote, Android Job is an open-source library that helps developers to schedule background tasks in an Android application. It provides a simple API to run these background tasks at a given time. This helps in increasing the performance and efficiency of your Android App.
How to use Android Job?
- Add Android Job dependency to the build.gradle file
- Create a new job service class to run the background task
- Define the job service in the Android Manifest file
- Create a new job request to schedule the task
- Finally, run the application
These were a few of the best Android Libraries to use in your mobile app development process. Android libraries have a vast collection of libraries for different functions that make your application run seamlessly whether it is a simple or a robust heavy application.
However, to optimally use these libraries, the developers need to have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the same too. Thus, you need to Hire Android App Developers who have the right experience for your android app development project. With Concetto Labs, you can interview and choose your development team. For any consultations, you can contact [email protected].
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