16 Best Android Libraries to Reduce Your App Development Time

best Android libraries for the Android app developers

According to StatCounter, Android OS has a market share of 71.18% in the year 2020. This stat clearly shows the dominance of Android in the market.

Therefore, many people have chosen to work on Android apps. But, the Android app development requires complete dedication, a set of libraries, and Android development tools to save a lot of time and make apps bug-free.

Android libraries are being developed by the whole community of Android developers, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel while developing an app. And the best practices of Android libraries can make a win-win situation for you.

In this blog, we have compiled a list of the 16 best Android libraries that you should check to make your sample project or next Android application development project hassle-free and complete it in less time. Now let’s get started!

Best Libraries for Android Developers

  1. MyLittleCanvas

    MyLittleCanvas is one of the top Android libraries for developers. The library was to facilitate work with canvas on Android, but instead of methods, you can make use of objects now.

    This Android library is used to achieve features like a custom underline on a TextView. Moreover, you can use it to implement RectShape, RoundRectShape, TextShape, LineShape, DrawableShape, PathShape, CircleShape with Canvas methods.

    GitHub Link – https://github.com/florent37/MyLittleCanvas

  2. ExpansionPanel

    ExpansionPanel is another feature-rich library from Florent Champigny that gives developers implementation of Expansion Panels (that contain creation flows and enable lightweight editing of an element). With this library, you can set-up multiple expansion layouts to allow only 1 opened at a time.

    This library is easily comprehensible and the project itself comes with a sample application so that developers can check. Moreover, the complete code of this library is under Apache-2.0 license and the sample app is also obtainable on Google Play.

    GitHub Link – https://github.com/florent37/ExpansionPanel

  3. ButterKnife

    A view binding library ButterKnife makes use of annotation to generate boilerplate code for Android developers. This high-end Android library is developed by Jake Wharton, and it makes your code clearer than before.

    butternife-library-logo

    Using this renowned view binding library, developers can save time to write repetitive lines of code. If you want to avoid writing repetitive code like “findViewByID(R.id.yourview), ButterKnife is extremely helpful for developers to bind strings, dimens, drawables, click events, and more.

    Now, rather than writing the setOnClickListener method for every view, you can make use of @OnClick annotation that gives click events for single or multiple views. In short, using a ButterKnife library is a lot easier for your Android project.

    GitHub Link – https://github.com/JakeWharton/butterknife

  4. Kotlin-math

    Kotlin-math is another great library for Android as it is a complete set of Kotlin APIs to make graphics math simpler to write. These APIs are mainly modeled after GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language) in order to make porting code to and from shaders easier.

    The different types offered by this library are only meant to be value types. There are various APIs that are exposed as top-level functions and not as methods.

    GitHub Link – https://github.com/romainguy/kotlin-math

  5. EventBus

    While developing an Android application that has multiple active components communicating with each other, you might be facing different problems. EventBus is one of the best libraries that was mainly created to solve this problem using the publisher/subscriber pattern.

    EventBus library logo

    This library has simplified the communication between components, decouples event senders, and receivers. Also, performs well with Activities, Fragments, and background threads. All the different classes that are involved with this library are completely decoupled from each other, leading to code that is less complex and simpler to maintain and debug.

    Moreover, it has some advanced features like delivery threads and subscriber priorities. It avoids complex and error-prone dependencies and life cycle issues.

    GitHub Link – https://github.com/greenrobot/EventBus

  6. Lottie

    As suggested by one of our Sr. Android Developers, Lottie is one of the Android animation libraries that parses Adobe After Effects animations exported as JSON with Bodymovin and renders them natively on mobile.

    lottie-library

    With this library, for the very first time, designers can create and ship beautiful animations without an engineer thoroughly recreating them by hand. Currently, it supports solids, shape layers, masks, alpha mattes, trim paths, and dash patterns.

    Moreover, the library allows a developer to go forward, backward, and most importantly – it allows program animation to respond to any interaction.

    GitHub Link – https://github.com/airbnb/lottie-android

  7. EasyPermissions

    EasyPermissions is a wrapper library in order to simplify basic system permissions login when targeting Android M or higher. Using EasyPermissions, a user can check if the app already has the required permissions or not. This method can take any number of permissions as its final argument.

    Moreover, requesting permissions with EasyPermissions#requestPermissions. This method will request the system permissions and show the rationale string provided if necessary. However, the request code given must be unique to this request.

    GitHub Link – https://github.com/googlesamples/easypermissions

  8. Objectbox

    ObjectBox is the widely used library for Android that allows a developer to devote their valuable time to what makes their Android applications stand-out and not for storing and retrieving data.

    Moreover, this library is an object-oriented embedded database and the right alternative for SQLite. This is incidentally well defined and suited for IoT.

    Objectbox library log

    It also allows a user to avoid different repetitive tasks and offers a simple and easy to use interface to your data. In addition to this, ObjectBox is specially optimized for performance and designed to save app developers from dealing with SQL.

    Link – https://objectbox.io/

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  9. Activity Recognition API

    Activity Recognition API allows a user to recognize their current activity, like walking, driving, or standing still. Android developers, who are making use of this library, can request activity updates by pressing the “Request Updates” button and stop receiving updates using the “Remove Updates button.

    Moreover, the sample makes use of an IntentService to process detected activity changes, which are sent using ActivityRecognitionResultobjects. The IntentService will get a complete list of probably detected activities and broadcasts them through a BroadcastReceiver.

  10. Smart Lock for Passwords on Android

    With Smart Lock for Passwords on Android, a developer can automatically sign users into their app using the credentials they have saved. Moreover, they can also save both username-password credentials and federated identity credentials.

    You can easily integrate Smart Lock for Passwords into your app by using Credentials API to retrieve saved credentials on sign-in. Make use of it successfully retrieved credentials to sign the user in or use the Credentials API to rapidly onboard new users by partially completing your app’s sign-in or sign-up form.

    Link – https://developers.google.com/identity/smartlock-passwords/android/

  11. Android Retrofit

    Retrofit is a type-safe HTTP client for Android and Java – developed by Square.

    Retrofit is the best library that lets you connect to HTTP-based API services from your Android Applications. It leverages the OkHttp library’s core functionality, adding a bunch of features to it while eliminating the boilerplate code.

    Retrofit is easy to use to receive data structures other than JSON, for example, SimpleXML and Jackson. Moreover, it is a type-safe REST client for Android and Java. This will intelligently map an API into a client interface using annotations.

    Link: https://square.github.io/retrofit/

  12. Dagger 2

    We cannot complete the list without mentioning Dagger here. Dagger sets itself apart from other dependency injection libraries. Dependency injector library helps to provide smaller components to another model and help them remain intact with each other.

    While developing larger applications, it would be challenging to handle dependency injection. This time, Dagger will save you in this situation as it creates a dependency injection graph in compile-time via annotation processors.

    Link: https://dagger.dev/

  13. Room

    The Room makes it easier to develop offline apps with the official ORM Android library. Moreover, you use the full power of SQLite for handing data.

    This library can be easily understood as it uses simple SQL syntax and annotations and much simpler than other ORMs with complicated APIs. This also gives support to Rx and functions really well.

    Link: https://developer.android.com/training/data-storage/room

  14. Glide

    Glide exposes a nice API that allows you to transform the image the way to want. If it has become challenging for the Android image loading and handling API and resizes images without getting “OutOfMemoryException”, then this image loading library will help.

    In addition to this, Glide offers animated GIF support while the image loading and also supports functions like fetching, decoding, and displaying video calls.

    Github Link: https://github.com/bumptech/glide

  15. ThreeTen

    ThreeTen library is helpful to handle date and time for Android. It is a backport of JSR-310, which was earlier included in Java 8 as a standard “java.time.*” package.

    The standard Android Calendar API is quite challenging to work with, but the ThreeTen library is really helpful.

    However, this is smaller than JodaTime in counts and size, but it’s API is more concise than JodaTime’s API.

    Github Link: https://github.com/JakeWharton/ThreeTenABP

  16. Zxing

    It is a barcode image processing library. Zxing is implemented using Java and supports other programming languages. It supports the 1D product, 1D industrial, and 2D barcodes.

    Google also uses ZXing to obtain millions of barcodes on the web indexable. Moreover, it also helps to create the foundation of Android’s Barcode Scanner app, which is combined into Google Product and Book Search.

    Github Link: https://github.com/zxing/zxing

How to Choose The Right Library?

Whether you want a unit testing library, image library, networking library, or any other library, we have included the evaluation process to make this easy for you. To choose the right library, consider these 8 steps.

The Popularity of The Library

To check the popularity, you can see the stars of the candidate library, followed by the number and severity of issues reported for that library. If a library is liked by a significant number of developers, then it shows a good indicator of quality.

Reliability of The Author

You must do a background check on the author to minimize the risk of getting stuck with a low-quality library. Check whether they are active on Github or have released multiple libraries or not. Make sure you verify everything.

Well-written Library

Please go through their code to check how well-structured they have written. Ensure that they have included a comprehensive and up-to-date README file or not. README file will help make integration smooth and effortless.

Correct License

There might be several restrictions to release a product commercially. License is another factor that can affect the decision because the usage of libraries can be limited. Ensure you follow all the terms of a library that you wish to integrate into your app.

Open Source

You must access the library’s code to access its quality or performance and to debug. Moreover, a lack of transparency poses a security risk.

Library Recommendations

Most platforms have several ‘de-facto’ libraries, such as Retrofit, Butterknife, Picasso/Glide, and RxJava. The best thing about these libraries is that they have high-quality, well-maintained, and documented. These libraries ensure low-risk but do not blindly follow the pack. Instead, you do your own research to understand their features, limitations, and benefits.

Check Core Features

You should hold full control over the code. Libraries make the trade-off to cover a wide spectrum of use cases. Using libraries for the core features means these are trading-off the same. You cannot compromise on the performance, so try to rely on existing tested libraries.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Android library?

It helps to include everything which is needed to build an app, such as source code, resource files, and an Android manifest. It doesn’t compile into an APK that runs on a device. However, it compiles into an Android Archive (AAR) file and this file can be used as a dependency for an Android app module.

Which Android libraries are famous?

  • Dagger 2
  • Kotlin-math
  • Glide
  • ButterKnife

What is the use of third-party libraries in Android?

Generally, Android developers use third-party libraries to build new functionalities, integrate external services, and to reduce the time to release an app.

 

Conclusion

So, these are the 16 best open-source Android libraries that you must check. Using these libraries, you save a lot of time and effort that you spend on developing an Android app from scratch.

However, if you have any query on the Android development process, publishing app on Play Store, or confusion related to these Android libraries, or how much it costs to develop an Android app, you can consult our team of experts. Just fill the contact us page and one of our sales representatives will revert to you with the optional solutions to all your queries.

This page was last edited on February 22nd, 2021, at 8:44.

Author Bio

Amit Patolia

Amit Patolia

Designation: Android Team Lead

Amit Patolia is an Android Team Lead at Space-O Technologies. He has over 9+ years of experience in Android app development. He has guided to develop over 100 Android apps with unique features and functionalities. He also has expertise in Kotlin-based apps.

 
 

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