The mobile application industry is flourishing and with a whopping 1.85 million iOS applications and 2.56 million android applications, it is not going to slow down any time soon. Looking up to its coherently growing demand, companies are coming up with numerous tools and techniques to enhance the app developer as well as the user experience.
Android libraries are also one such contribution that has brought a difference in the Application development process, making it more proficient as well as productive. Being pre-written and pre-tested, the libraries save a lot of time for the developers, empowering them to focus on the core logic of the application, rather than spending their valuable time on the modules which are already present in the libraries.
There are numerous Android libraries available in the market ranging from the user interface to the back-end, to native component usage, and a lot more. So, if you are trying your hand in android app development or planning to bring a new app in the market, you have landed in a perfect place, as the article will introduce you to some of the most popular android libraries and the areas they major in.
To unlock the power of libraries in your app development process, check out some of the most trending Android libraries in the list and redefine the idea of the app development.
1. Dagger 2
Category: Dependency Injector
The Android applications are dependent on various libraries to function properly, requiring it to instantiate the objects, resulting in the formation of a dependency chain.
Dagger 2 proves to be one of the best dependency injector libraries that analyses the dependency chain and creates code for the entire process. The library speeds up the app development process, relieving you from writing the large boilerplate code.
Dagger 2 depends on Java processors for execution and unlike other Java-based dependency injector libraries, it does not require XML parse elements or face runtime dependency issues. Dagger 2 simplifies the configuration and testing of complex dependencies in the App development process.
The process of making a network request and establishing a connection is quite a complex task, requiring you to create a URL connection, assure the compatibility of the data type of input stream, and then execute it by covering it in the AsyncTask. The main issue with this process is fetching data from the network, which becomes harder with the increase in the quantity, like in the case of APIs.
Retrofit, an android library for networking, simplifies this process, mapping the Application Programming Interface to the REST Client. The tagline of Retrofit – “ a type-safe REST client for Android and Java”, tells about the entire functionality of the library. Retrofit is an open-source Android library, which eases the structured data transaction with the help of REST-based web services. It also assures the type safety of the transaction by validating it during the compilation.
Category: Image Loader
Picasso, a product of Square, is a robust and one of the most popular Android libraries that allows you to download and store the images at utter ease. Images prove to be the easier and most effective way of conveying your message, making it comprehensible in the blink of an eye.
Picasso, simple yet a powerful library, is packed with a lot of amazing features, taking the image handling in Android to another level. Let’s check out the highlights of Picasso-
- Picasso empowers you to remodel the images to a smaller size or any other custom requirement, without compromising with the quality.
- The Library enables you to transform complex images with minimum memory usage.
- With Picasso, you can use placeholder content on events like the occurrence of error and image download.
- It offers commendable memory management.
- Seamlessly loads images into the Applications.
Category: Image Loader
Glide is an Android library that empowers you to load and cache images in the android application. Glide library, which majorly focuses on Smooth scrolling, is managed by Bumptech and recommended by Google.
Glide library is loaded with a lot of amazing features, let’s take a look at some of its major highlights-
- Not only the images, but Glide also supports animated GIFs in the android applications.
- The API present in the library enables the developers to get into any network stack, other than just the default one.
- It also helps in managing the video calls, i.e. loading, displaying, etc.
CAMViews is an android library that allows the application to access the device camera and perform tasks, such as –
- Capturing and previewing the videos using device camera
- Scan the barcodes or QR codes
- Live processing the scanned item.
CAMView simplifies the entire process, hiding all the complexities in a single component. All you need to do is to place the component in the existing View hierarchy of the application, doing this enables your application to use the camera of the device and take inputs.
ZXing i.e. Zebra Crossing, is an open-source barcode scanning android library, that allows the applications to scan the barcodes and process it. The library supports both 1D and 2D barcode processing. Being implemented in Java, ZXing makes it easier for the developer to create a cross-platform barcode scanner enabled software. ZXing indexes the barcodes on the web, making it get found through the web searches, hence is been used by Google in many of its products including Google Books.
7. Holo Graph Library
Graphs, one of the most preferred ways of data presentation, is something that developers are looking forward to including in their projects/applications. Holo Graph Library, a popular graphics library that is used in the android applications, perfectly fits in the criteria, allowing the apps to create graphs and charts for the users. The library includes 4 types of graphs-
- Bar Graph
- Line Graph
- Pie Graph
- Multiseries Donut Graph
Managing huge datasets is quite a strenuous task, where charts and graphs come out as a handy approach to visualize and analyze the data at a glance. MPAndroidChart is one such library that helps in creating graphs and charts, such as, Line Graph, Bar chart, Bubble chart, Radar Chart, and Pie Chart. MPAndroidChart also enables you to scale and animate the charts and graphs, making it more interactive and comprehensible.
9. Gravity View
Category: UI Component
Gone are days, when the only way to view a product from various angles was scrolling a number of images. Gravity View has transformed the traditional way of viewing the image over Android devices, by auto scrolling the images on the movement of the devices.
To do this, Gravity View makes the use of the readings of the Gyroscope sensor, that tracks the rotation of the device. Hence when the user rotates the device, the images tilts automatically, presenting the view from another angle.
Category: UI Test
62% of mobile app uninstalls occur due to UI related issues such as UI unresponsiveness, crash/ freeze, frequent errors, etc., making UI testing one of the most important phases of mobile app development.
Espresso, an open-source Android testing library developed by Google, proves to be quite helpful in User Interface testing. Espresso is used to create concise yet dependable UI tests for Android apps, which can be written in both Kotlin as well as Java. Espresso expedites the development process by automating the User Interface testing and synchronizing the changes in parallel.
Category: Unit Test
Unit Testing, a technique which checks the functionality of the stand-alone modules, thereby resulting in early error detection, is extremely important to be included in the app development process. Error detected in the later stages not only affects the entire app functionality but also increases the cost of resolving it, requiring you to include unit testing in your app development process.
Mockito is a framework based on Java used for unit testing of the application modules. To do this, Mockito mocks the interfaces with the goal that a module can be added to it and then tested for its functionality and compatibility with other modules. The advantage of using Mockito is that it allows you to test the modules in isolation, without affecting the actual application.
Category: Debug bridge between the Mobile app and Chrome Dev Tools
Stetho is a library introduced and managed by Facebook, which allows us to debug the network calls easily. With Stetho, you need not add and remove the logs during development and release. In fcat, once you enable Stetho, you can use Chrome debugging tools itself to troubleshoot view layouts, network traffic as well as the database.
To work with the library, first of all, you need to have an active device/emulator, which has to be connected through chrome. For this, launch Chrome and visit chrome://inspect through it. The emulator device will appear, through which you can check the database, network traffic, etc.
Category: Reactive Programming
Managing the changes in the dynamic inputs is a challenging task that comes up in the Android app development process. Earlier in order to update the variable, you were required to explicitly set the values of variables. RxJava2, an android library for event-based programs, has made the process easier by reflecting the changes in the input. RxJava2 works wonders in chaining the asynchronous task as well as managing the errors.
14. Android Data Binding
Category: View Binding
The Data Binding Library is a support library that enables you to bind User Interface components in your application with the sources of data used, however with the declarative format rather than programmatically. Android Data Binding proves to be an extremely helpful library, addressing issues like clarity in the code structure, readability, and higher debugging time. Data Binding Library reduces the code related to the view or User Interface of the application, making it easier to manage the code as well as the errors.
Category: Media Player
ExoPlayer, an open-source library managed by Google, is an application-level Android media player that plays audio and video both offline and online. Unlike other Android media players, ExoPlayer is easier to personalize as well as includes Smooth streaming playbacks.
Upgrade your App development style!
Tools are something that defines the quality of your work as well as the journey. The more your tool is effective, the better becomes your product and experience.
As a developer, the tools that can upgrade our journey are the libraries and software, whose ultimate aim is to reduce the app development time, done by availing the reusable components packed within the library. All you need to do is, just include the library in the code, and that’s it, the components are ready to use.
To grow, you need to explore! – the mantra that we believe in, hence as per our research and experience with the libraries, listed here some of the most useful libraries that can help you in your app development process. For further queries and assistance, Reach out to us.