5 Best Android App Development Libraries

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First of all, what is Android app development? Android app development refers to the process of developing software for Android-based mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Such apps are installed on Google Play, where they can be used by Android users around the world. The apps are written in Java or Kotlin and use the Android SDK to access features of the device, such as GPS location, mapping data, Internet connectivity, and more.

1) LinearLayout

The LinearLayout class lets you specify that its children should be placed in a single row or column. It’s not very flexible, but it is lightweight and fairly simple to use. Another benefit of LinearLayout is that it automatically resizes itself as screen sizes change, so there’s no need to manually resize components as you might with RelativeLayout. If your Android app has many views arranged vertically (or horizontally), we recommend using a LinearLayout. You can nest one or more layouts inside each other for complex arrangements of views.

2) RecyclerView

Android’s RecyclerView is a popular choice when it comes to implementing lists of data because it has many useful features built in. Unlike ListView, which allows you to define views for each item within your list, RecyclerView requires you to define only one view that’s used across all items in your list. This makes it great for reuse and easy implementation. It also supports animations through its ItemAnimator class, meaning you can make your lists more interactive without too much work. Finally, because RecyclerView is a framework class rather than an Activity or Fragment base class like some other libraries on our list—or Android’s own ListView—you have more flexibility as to where it can be used.

3) Android Support Library

The Android Support Library is Google’s collection of support libraries that you can use to develop apps for Android devices. Some of these libraries are also available from third-party sites, but Google hosts them on its own site for convenience. The Android Support Library includes a number of smaller libraries, including those for Fragments, Adapters, RecyclerViews and CardViews. One library in particular—the NavigationUI—makes it easier to implement Android’s standard back button behavior when using navigation drawers. As an example, let’s take a look at how to implement navigation menus in your app. To do so, you have two options: You can either include separate fragments for each different section of your app or you can create one single fragment that acts as a container for all other fragments.

4) Databinding Library

Bind your views to data with just a few lines of code with Android’s databinding library. No matter how complex your app is, databinding makes it easy to visualize what you have stored in databases and activities. For example, if you have an image list that contains images, items can be displayed in a gridview with just a few lines of code. Databinding allows you to bind collections or individual items from arrays, models or other data sources without writing boilerplate code for each component.

5) ButterKnife

ButterKnife is a view binding library for Android that allows you to bind your views and layouts declaratively instead of programmatically. It was created as a response to Google’s 20 percent time where engineers were encouraged to work on side projects. ButterKnife reduces view-binding boilerplate code, which is repetitive and often error-prone.

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