The Android operating system first appeared in 2008. It is based on Linux and is meant for mobile computing. Currently, the Android ecosystem has 2.5 billion active users and occupies 72% of the mobile OS market.
To take advantage of this huge user base, Android app developers have been working overtime. By 2022, 2.7 million apps were available, a number that keeps on rising.
Before you hire an Android developer to work on your latest project, you need to learn about Android libraries.
What is Android Library?
An Android library is pre-written code that allows developers to code quickly and efficiently.
Libraries are useful because they contain code that has been tried and tested.
Android libraries can help with many aspects of app development, such as:
- Image loading
- Dependency injection
- Memory leak prevention
- App testing
In short, libraries speed up the process of development and cut down costs.
Which are the best Android libraries for 2023? Knowing the answer would help when you hire an expert Android app developer.
We take a look at the most popular Android libraries used by the best Android app developers.
8 Best Android Libraries In 2023
Espresso is used for UI testing. It is a part of the Android Testing Support Library.
Features of Espresso:
- Synchronization: Espresso can automatically synchronize with the UI thread. This lets tests interact with the app in a way that closely mimics real-life usage.
- Interaction: Espresso offers a set of actions and gestures, such as clicking and typing, that can interact with views.
- Testing asynchronous code: Espresso has a set of methods that can test asynchronous code, such as IdlingResource and CountingIdlingResource.
- Espresso Recorder: Espresso has a tool called Espresso Recorder, which can record Espresso test cases.
- Matchers: Espresso provides a set of matches that can be used to match views and check their properties. This feature makes it easier to compose tests that are robust.
GSON is a Java-based library that is used for converting Java objects to and from JSON.
Features of GSON:
- Automatic serialization/deserialization: GSON can automatically convert Java objects to JSON and JSON to Java objects with minimal configuration.
- Support for multiple data types: GSON supports a wide range of data types, including primitives, arrays, lists, maps, and custom objects.
- Annotations: GSON supports the use of annotations to customize the serialization/deserialization process.
- JSON tree support: GSON allows developers to parse JSON into a tree-like structure. This makes it easier to navigate through JSON data.
Butter Knife simplifies the process of binding views and handling events.
Features of Butter Knife:
- View binding: Butter Knife permits developers to bind views to fields and methods. This helps enhance readability.
- Event handling: Using Butter Knife, developers can handle events such as clicks and long clicks with simple annotations. This goes a long way to streamline the process of handling events.
- Resource binding: With Butter Knife, developers are able to bind resources, such as strings, colors, and dimensions, to fields and methods.
- Custom views: Allows developers to bind fields and methods to custom views. This vastly simplifies the process of working with custom views.
Dagger is employed for managing dependency injection.
Features of Dagger:
- Dependency injection: Dagger lets developers define dependencies and how they should be provided. This allows coders to simplify the process of managing dependencies in an app.
- Code generation: Dagger uses code generation to create the required classes for dependency injection. Software developers can reduce the usage of boilerplate code that is not optimal.
- Custom scoping: Allows developers to define custom scopes for dependencies, which can help control the lifecycle of dependencies. It goes a long way toward improving the testability of an app.
Glide is used for loading and displaying images. Smooth scrolling is important for an app, and Glide helps with that aspect.
Features of Glide:
- Loading and caching images: Glide loads images asynchronously. The library also automatically caches them for faster loading times.
- Image transformation: Developers can transform images before they are displayed. Easily performs resizing and cropping.
- Support for various image types: Glide helps load and display different image types, such as JPEG, PNG, and GIF.
- Support for different view types: Glide supports loading and displaying images in different view types, such as ImageView and TextureView.
- Memory management: Coders can implement memory management techniques such as LRU cache and pooling. This minimizes the impact of loading images and speeds up the app.
LeakCanary is used to detect and diagnose memory leaks in an app. The library is quite unique in its ability to find out why leaks happen.
Features of LeakCanary:
- Automatic leak detection: LeakCanary can easily detect memory leaks in an app. The library also offers detailed information about the cause of the leak.
- Easy integration: LeakCanary can be easily integrated into an app with very little configuration. This saves time and effort.
- Notifications: The library can notify developers when a memory leak is detected. LeakCanary also provides a precise leak trace that shows which objects and references are causing the leak.
- Leak prevention: LeakCanary can be integrated with other libraries to prevent leaks from happening.
Timber is used for maintaining log files.
Features of Timber:
- Easy logging: Timber provides a simple API for logging messages. This makes it easier to write and maintain log files.
- Tagging: Timber automatically generates tags for log messages. This makes it easy to trace the log.
- Log levels: Timber accommodates various log levels such as debug, info, warning, and error.
- Formatting options: Timber helps developers customize the format of the log message through the use of formats such as JSON, CSV, XML, etc.
Retrofit is an Android library for performing HTTP requests and handling responses.
Features of Retrofit:
- Simple API: Due to a simple API, Retrofit makes it easy to define and execute HTTP requests.
- Error handling: Retrofit offers support for handling errors. This includes status codes and error messages. Using Retrofit simplifies the process of handling errors that can happen while using the app.
- Support for response interceptors: Developers can add custom request and response interceptors using Retrofit. This allows them to set up custom headers for requests and modify the response data.
- Support for authentication: Retrofit provides options to include authentication and OAuth tokens in their requests. These can be used to authenticate the client with the server.
Besides the libraries mentioned above, developers can also receive help from Firebase. It began as a YC11 startup and grew into a full-fledged app development platform.
Firebase offers tools for managing various aspects and stages of app development.
- It also has a set of features that can be quite useful:
- Firebase Cloud Messaging for cloud-based messaging
- Firebase Authentication for user authentication
- Firebase Realtime Database for storing data
These are the most used Android libraries but by no means the only ones. There are several more that can be tapped into to make your Android app project proceed swiftly.
Android libraries are a major part of the Android app development process.
When you hire an Android app developer, ensure that they have a solid grasp of these libraries.