The Android OS has its sheer dominance on the marketplace by covering a total share of 71.18% at the end of 2020. Wherever you go, you get to see a majority of Android smartphone users. The reason behind this is the ultimate user experience and easy accessibility that this OS has to offer across a wide section of customers in the world.
The popularity is further increasing as Android is the primary choice of OS for maximum smartphone users. Concerning this, the whole community of Android developers has to reinvent the wheel of technical implications and provide a satisfactory experience. One of the ways to do that is getting hands on the most profound Android libraries comprising of tools, extensions, and plugins.
For the sake of successful and timely Android app development for enterprises, developers need to be well-versed with the latest tools. Thus, we bring you here the list of the 20 best Android libraries that are must to consider in 2021 for enhancing the development task.
What are Android Libraries?
Android libraries are a set of Android mobile app development-based modules available for developers to create a different set of functionalities, interface, and design elements. The support libraries are divided into two categories. One that is available for the new Android version that helps to upgrade the older versions into new. And, the other set of Android libraries are standalone that work best for all versions of Android OS and allow developers to make specific additions and changes in a hassle-free manner.
Importance of Using Android Support Libraries
1. Add New Features
New Android versions keep coming to the marketplace. But users need not buy the latest version of the device to get new updates and features. Android libraries help developers to add the functionality of automatic updates via regular notifications at certain time intervals. Developers can add new features as to how their apps work, especially on the devices that still run on older versions.
2. Stay Updated
Updating from one Android platform to another is a cumbersome task. And, you see such updates happen only once a year. Using Android support libraries, developers can add the functionality of automatic updates to the device. It helps to add on new integrations and functionalities from time to time.
Best Android Libraries for Developers
Maintained by Square, Picasso is an image library for Android app development. It is highly trusted to load images in a single line of code. Developers find it flexible to transform complex images within minimal memory, automatic memory, and caching.
Picasso automatically detects re-use and previously canceled download. Make use of this library to swiftly transform images with a better layout and reduce the size as well.
Image loading is quite a task for Android app development. At most times, Android developers find it difficult to handle nice API for loading appropriate images. If not done properly, then there are chances of the app goes crash. To avoid the same, use the Glide image library managed by Bumptech and recommended by Google. It is an open-source library that offers an easy way to support GIF along with image loading, processing, and caching. It further helps the media to fetch, display video calls, and decode.
If looking for the top reactive programming library on Android apps, then consider choosing RxJava which is a part of ReactiveX libraries. It is a library for composing asynchronous and event-based programs by using observable sequences. One of the topmost Android libraries, RxJava makes the life of developers goes simple by chaining asynchronous operations much simple and represents the data in real-time. By using RxJava, developers are easily switching threads and handle errors in between.
Dagger is the best library when it comes to dependency injection. It helps to generate plain Java source code. Dagger is different from the dependency injection as it works in compile-time to estimate and analyze dependencies. Dagger is one of the top-rated Android libraries similar to RxJava which is maintained by Google.
Zxing is the barcode library for Android developers. It is implemented by Java and supports different programming languages along with 1D product, 1D industrial, and 2D barcodes. It is one of the highly used images barcoding processing libraries, even used by Google to index millions of barcodes.
It is another image scanning Android-based library apart from using Zxing. It helps developers get access to live preview video from the device camera, data processing in the camera, and barcode scanning using Zxing in-built decoding engine.
7. Expansion Panel
Expansion Panel is a feature-rich library that provides developers ease to implement creation flows and enables lightweight editing of the element. This library helps developers to set up multiple expansion layouts and allows it open one time only. One of the things to notice with this library is that it is easy to comprehend and project itself with a sample application.
This library works with canvas on Android and you can make the best use of objects instead of methods. MyLittleCanvas offer you a range of features like TextShape, RoundShape, RectShape, LineShape, DrawableShape, PathShape, CircleShape, and more.
Retrofit is a type-safe HTTP client for Android and Java. It is developed by Square that helps developers to connect HTTP-based API services from the Android applications. You can use annotations to control API request headers, body, query parameters, and more. It is a clean Android library that allows you to make synchronous and asynchronous API calls.
Android developers no longer need to use HttpsUrl Connection to fetch a large amount of data. Retrofit has its own Rx module. Make the best use of this Android library to swiftly receive data structures other than the JSON.
Room is one of the persistent Android libraries for developers. It is an official ORM Android library that helps developers to build offline apps while utilizing the full power of SQLite. It helps to maintain an abstraction layer on top of it. It is a simple to utilize library that relies on standard SQL syntax and annotations.
Room library includes out-of-the-box support of Rx as they work together efficiently. You can make the best use of the Room library which is easy to learn after reading the detailed documentation.
Butterknife is a view binding library that makes the best use of annotations to generate boilerplate for Android applications. It is a high-end Android library developed by Jake Wharton that helps you create cleaner codes than ever.
This library saves a great deal of time for developers to write repetitive lines of code. Developers can avoid writing the repetitive code and further get assistance to bind strings, drawables, click events, dimens, etc.
12. Android Databinding
Another best data binding library for Android app development is Android Databinding that does not require annotations. If you are working on Android Studio Version 1.3, then you use the Android Databinding library. Using this, Android developers can bind UI components in the layouts and then to data sources in the app. You can use declarative formation here rather than programming.
For viewing charts or graphs in Android apps, make the best use of MPAndroidChart. It is an impeccable Android library that supports different varieties of charts and graphs including radar, pie, line, bar, candlestick charts along with animations, scaling, and dragging.
14. Holo Graph Library
Another graph-based library to be used in Android mobile app development is Holo Graph Library. It is best for developers to add flawless charts and graphics in any type of Android application. This library provides a variety of graphical representations like PieGraph view, BarGraph view, and MultiSeriesDonut Graph view.
It is a wrapping library that simplifies the basic requirement of system permissions for users while Login the app. With EasyPermissions, users can check, if the app has different permission accessibility requirements or not. It helps to take different permissions from users on the app to move forward. The primary function of EasyPermissions is to show the rational string provided if necessary.
ExoPlayer is a media library for Android developers that is developed by Google. It is an excellent and exclusive media library that is an ideal alternative to Android’s MediaPlayer API. This media library works both for audio and video. The primary function of ExoPlayer is SmoothStreaming for adaptive playbacks and easy customization.
Testing of an application is a matter of vital importance to ensure robust functionalities in all circumstances. Espresso is one of the best Android testing libraries that allow developers to test the user interface at different levels. This tool helps developers to write tests and check whether the text of TextView is similar to other text or not. It imparts the experience of a real user while running an app on a device as well as on emulators. To use Espresso, developers need to add dependencies to the app module build Gradle file.
Robolectric is another useful testing library used for Android application development. This library handles the inflation of resource loading, views, and other things. Developers can create the test in the library to perform functions with a real set of devices. Robolectric library simulates the Android SDK for the tests and eliminates the need to create additional mockup frameworks like Mockito.
It is another widely used Android library that allows developers to devote their valuable time in developing a stand-out Android application from the rest. It avoids the focus on storing and retrieving data.
Objectbox is an object-oriented library that embeds databases and the best alternative for SQLite. The well-defined and IoT-suited library allows use to do repetitive tasks and offers a simple way to access and use the interface. And, it is also specially optimized for performance and designed to save app developers from dealing with SQL.
Apart from the above 20 Android libraries, you can add more to your arsenal.
* Activity Recognition API
* Smart Lock for Passwords on Android
* Dagger 2
* Gravity View
* Motion Toast
* Zoom Recycler Layout
And, many more.
Android app development is a never-ending process. Developers need to follow the latest updates, tools, and extensions to add much-needed features to an app. The list mentioned here contains almost every single popular Android library to refer to in 2021 for enhancing the development work. There is more to find ahead after getting new updates and modifications.
Choosing the right Android library is no longer a difficult task. You can refer to different points like the reliability of the author, well-written library, genuine license, open-source, recommendations, and core features to lay hands on the best one. You have multiple options to check for but rely on the one that serves your purpose of creating a result-oriented mobile application.
In case you need any technical assistance concerning the Android application development, then rely on the expertise of Android developers at OrangeManta. It is a leading mobile app development company having in operations for many years and has successfully transformed ideas into a profitable reality. This is a reliable company that has direct access to a range of Android libraries that help developers to create result-oriented applications or upgrade the existing one to a whole new level. If you want the support of certified Android app developers, then completely rely on the professional expertise of OrangeMantra for your next project.
Steve Johnson is a technical specialist working in a well-known mobile app development company for more than 8 years. He provides informative and guiding write-ups to professional developers seeking out productive knowledge and added skills.