The Best 10 Android Libraries

The Best 10 Android Libraries

“This excerpt is going to be text-savvy, but highly useful if you are an Android developer. Let’s figure out which best Android Libraries are faring better in 2022, and stand a chance in 2023.”

Retrofit, Glide, MPAndroidChart, room, AndroidKTX, Lottie, Android FastScroll, Brocolli and many more libraries in Android App Development provide pre-written code structures to build usable modules. These include the anatomy of source codes, resource files, and Android Manifest. The use of various libraries in Android App Development helps redefine the app behaviour and bring about a well-defined interface. It includes using templates, configuring pre-written code, classes, documents, values, and much more.

Which Android App libraries should you use in your Apps to make them better?

A brief look suggests that it can be cased into a bundle of 15 for image loading, videos, networking, dependency injection, view binding, reactive programming, testing, database helpers and custom fonts – these extinguished ones can help in creating apps with better performance and user experience.

No matter how small it might be, libraries are resourceful and can be game changers. Irrespective of the operating system, libraries can enhance a developer’s performance and the functionality of the application.

Android Libraries to Load Images

These prevent memory consumption caused by uploading multiple images at the same time. They reduce the chivvy of loading and caching images along with minimizing the memory usage for a smooth user experience.

An example is the Glide image-loading library that focuses on smooth scrolling. It ensures fast image loading, automatic downsampling and caching to minimize storage overhead and decoding. It reuses byte arrays and releases application resources wherever necessary.

Picasso is another example of an image-loading library that displays images from external locations, supports complex image transformations and automatic disk caching, ImageView recycling and cancellations in an adapter. It handles HTTP requests.

Glide and Picasso libraries can be differentiated on the basis of size and method count, disk caching, memory, image load time, GIF support, thumbnail support, configurations and customizations.

Android Libraries for Videos

ExoPlayer is an Android media player library developed by Google. It is an alternative to Android Media Player API for playing audio and video (locally and over the Internet). It supports DASH and SmoothStreaming adaptive playbacks. Android developers should ensure that they have JCenter and Google repositories included in the project configuration file.

Android Library for Networking

Networking libraries assist in any kind of mobile networking. It decimates the need to execute an Async task or use HttpUrlConnection to make a network request. Network libraries optimize this process while managing threads and devices’ resources properly. Fast Android Networking Library is a powerful library for doing any type of networking in Android applications on top of the OkHttp Networking Layer. It is popular with the recent removal of HTTP Client in Android Marshmallow. It makes requests, downloads any type of file, uploads files, and loads images from the network in ImageView. It provides a simple interface for doing all types of things in networking like setting priority, cancelling, etc. It uses Okio to handle GC overhead and functions in the same way as CPU and memory. Another networking library is Retrofit. It is a type-safe HTTP client for Android and Java which allows adding annotations, request bodies, manipulating endpoints, manipulating headers, adding query parameters, and select request methods, and parsing to POJO with converters.

Android Library for Dependency Injection

Such libraries pass the dependencies to another object, so the object does not require to configure it on its own. Dagger 2 is the aptest dependency injection library that is a fully static, compile-time dependency injection framework for both Android and Java.

Android Libraries for View Building

Cutting it straight, these reduce boilerplate code while assigning views to variables. Butterknife and Android Databinding are two View Binding Android Libraries. These help in assigning IDs to views by avoiding excess findViewById. Alternatively, the Android Databinding library is inbuilt to support Android Support Library. It works on Android Studio Version 1+. It replaces onClick and reduces the amount of code written to access views.

Android Libraries for Reactive Programming

It prototypes a source-to-subscriber strategy. It handles tasks asynchronously and helps in passing the data from sources to subscribers. RxJava2 and RxAndroid are two popular alternatives available for Android. These libraries pass the data from sources to subscribers – for example – RxJava2, and RxAndroid. Out of this, RxJava implements reactive programming while RxJava2 updates to the earlier version of RxJava. These have observables, observers, and Scheduler data sources with the observer, single, maybe, flowable, and completable types. Every type has a unique application and functionality specific to the Android platform.

Android Libraries for Testing

Software that critically observes a program and tries to find bugs is testing software. But in modern times testing is adopted in the early stages of development and aims to pass what the test expects. Out of the many android testing libraries – JUnit, Robolectric, Mockito, and Expresso are the premier ones. JUnit library is also a framework for unit testing. It contains a set of assert methods to check an expected result against the actual result. It uses annotations expansively. It has @Test, @Before, and @After methods to identify – declare methods. Mockito library creates and configures fake objects and is used in conjunction with JUnit. Robolectric is yet another unit-testing library that handles Android framework dependencies without launching a device as in Espresso. It simulates the Android SDK for the tests. It does not require additional mocking frameworks like Mockito. Roboelectric simulates Android SDK and allows tests to do more without launching a device in Espresso. This removes the need to have additional mocking frameworks like Mockito. Espresso Android Testing Support Library allows the creation of user interface tests for Android Apps. it allows writing tests that check if the test matches another text. It runs on both actual devices and emulators and behaves as if an actual user was using the app.

Database Helpers as Android Libraries

To enhance user experience, it is important to store information to make it available offline. This is a feature related to cookies, which requires more complex than just combining key and value pairs. Examples- Room is a part of the Android Architecture Component that provides local data persistence with very less boilerplate code. It brings an abstraction layer over SQLite that makes it easier to work with databases. It has the add-on advantage of verifying SQL queries at compile time, providing implementation best practices, and rejecting database queries on the main thread. It is composed of the database, data access objects, and entities. It is co-related to making the library function. We need to have a Google Maven repository, which is pre-configured into the Android project and add Room dependencies in the app module. Android KTX extends Kotlin and wraps around Android API to offer a more user-friendly appeal. It features named parameters, default parameter values, and lambdas but digs through the library code.

Android Libraries for Custom Fonts

This library appeals to Android Developers who are apprehensive about the outlook of the app. It makes use of unique fonts, styles, colours, and text to make the app look attractive, and visually appealing. Examples are Calligraphy, which is one of the most popular custom font libraries. It lets declare a single font across an entire application and helps individually define the text. Job Scheduling is another custom font library that performs operations to improve user interaction. It requires asynchronous optimization of the app and device’s performance. Android comes with its own API for scheduling background tasks. It is bifurcated into two categories – Android-job library by Evernote and Firebase Jobdispatcher by Firebase. Besides, MPAndroidChart is a powerful Android chart and graph view library that supports many different views such as line, bar, pie, bubble, and candlestick charts, animations, scaling and dragging.

For Android Application Security

Auth0 barges in with multifarious features to secure Android Applications. It simply requires a few lines of code to get through identity management, single sign-in, social identity providers (Github, Twitter, Facebook, etc), and support for enterprise identity providers (Active Directory, SAML, LDAP, Custom, etc). It requires importing Auth0.Android library. It is a toolkit that communicates with basic Auth0 API functions in a concise way. The process to authenticate Android Applications is simple and fat. We’re skipping it for now.

Conclusive: Which libraries are the best for your Android Applications?

We reviewed a few prominent libraries that significantly reduce boilerplate code, and perform functions to improve Android app performance. We have also briefly reviewed the prerequisites to use these libraries in our android apps. Knowing the best libraries can significantly improve the quality of the app and make us produce more in less time. It’s a win-win ahead for Android App Development Companies!

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