Best Libraries and Tools for Android Developers
Best Libraries and Tools for Android Developers
Android is one of the most popular mobile operating systems ever developed that boosts the market share of almost 80%. For a Mobile Operating System with such a large user base, it’s not a surprise that there would be thousands of developers and engineers having tremendous skills in Android application development.
Unfortunately, android application development is not as easy as it sounds. It requires a serious skill set and a dedicated team of engineers working around the clock to build something awesome that makes the lives of billions of smartphone users around the world easier.
Thanks to the tremendous advancement in technology, the technical world has arrived in such a condition that there now exist tons of libraries to solve any issue that a developer may face irrespective of the programming language used. Upon this plethora of libraries that have made programming really simple, we also have tons of tools and software that make programming even simpler and faster.
Retrofit is a type-safe REST client for Android and Java developed by Square. The library provides a powerful framework for authenticating and interacting with APIs, as well as sending network requests with OkHttp.
It helps the developer to get rid of boilerplate codes, which become really messy when the code size increases. Retrofit is an amazing library that makes calling RESTful APIs really simple. It is highly optimized, which increases app efficiency.
RxAndroid is the Android Specific library of RxJava.
RxJava is described officially as, “a library for composing asynchronous and event-based programs by using observable sequences.” It makes use of the observer pattern, which makes event-driven programming a lot easier.
There are numerous benefits in using RxAndroid in your projects including:
Minimal use of AsyncTasks.
Reducing the lines of code required.
EventBus is an open-source library for Android which is built on Publisher/Subscriber pattern that allows loose coupling of application components, which facilitates hassle-free communication between various application components.
One additional benefit of using this library is that it helps facilitate passing Java objects between Activities, Fragments, or Services. You don’t need to spend time serializing and deserializing data, which can often create tight bindings between these components. It also helps enforce more type-safety across complex Java objects.
Glide is an image loader library for Android developed by bumptech. Glide is officially recommended by Google. Glide has been implemented in various top-rated android apps on Google Play and even in Google’s I/O Conference App.
Glide is a fast, efficient, and easy-to-use library that takes care of disk caching and memory management. Picasso and Fresco are other popular image loading libraries from Square and Facebook respectively. Fresco offers some extra features that Glide and Picasso yet do not have.
Butterknife is a popular view injection library for Android that motivates android MVVM patterns. ButterKnife uses annotation for its implementation, and it actually writes all the boilerplate view code’s for the developer. ButterKnife improves the application performance by using compile-time annotation, but it doesn’t create any runtime overhead.
ButterKnife is amazing in that it doesn’t depend on Java reflection, which might degrade the application performance.
Android Asset Studio
Android Asset Studio is an all-in-one tool for your project's asset’s needs. It helps to create launcher icons, action bar icons, tab icons, and notification icons. It also supports the various levels of customization and enables the user to download the generated icons for various screen densities.
Stetho is a debug utility for Android applications created by Facebook. It can be easily integrated with the Chrome browser’s developer tools.
Stetho enables the developer to easily inspect the application, mainly the application's network traffic. It also helps the developer to easily edit and inspect the SQLite Database and shared preferences.
Stetho should only be used in the debug build and not in the release build.
LeakCanary is an open-source library that is helpful in detecting memory leaks in Android. Finding and fixing memory leaks is a big headache. LeakCanary notifies the developer by inspecting the common cases that may lead to memory leaks in the application. LeakCanary should be used in the debug compile of the application. It thoroughly scans all the cases and notifies the developer if a leak occurs in the Application.
Android Debug Database
Android Debug Database is a powerful library for debugging databases and shared preferences in Android applications. It’s a very simple tool for viewing databases and shared preferences directly in your browser.