Best Open Source Android Libraries
Libraries are the most useful and convenient tool for android app development. A developer can save time, skip writing the pseudo-code every time, improve the code’s readability, and even perform complex tasks in easy ways and with fewer lines of the code. Also, most of you will be familiar with open-source environments. You would also know how open-source projects are helping society and creating a heavy impact nowadays.
For whom this is a buzzword, open source is an environment in which the source code of the projects can be seen and changed by developers across the globe (You have to follow a procedure for this). You can also read the article linked above to find out about open-source in more detail. Android OS, VLC Media Player, and many other software projects are available in open source. There are also many Android libraries that are very-very useful and available as an open-source project.
In this article, we will be talking about the 12 best open-source android libraries which are available as an open-source project. We will be talking about their benefits and we will be providing links to their codebase so that you can all go there and can see how they are developed and can also fix some of their bugs and help the android community.
Memory Leak is the most common cause of crashing an android application. As a beginner or intermediate level android developer, you have sometimes faced the fact that you have coded the application perfectly in your perspective but when you are running your app it crashes. At that time, you may feel a little bit annoyed about why this is happening. The situation could occur because of a memory leak. To understand why and when a memory leak occurs, you should read this article Memory Leaks in Android. To simplify this problem, the Square developed a library and named it LeakCanary. Basically, LeakCanary will help you with finding and fixing memory leaks in your application.
We all know that networking is important for Androids. In the process of developing better apps, we have to connect to the internet and make a request to get data from somewhere on the internet. Data can be text, image, audio, and more. Many times we also need to send data over the internet to a specific URL. For doing these tasks, you have to write multiple lines of code and the process will be very complex when we do not use any library for this. OkHttp provides us with the comfort of doing all this stuff. It is on the list of most used libraries for networking on Android and it’s also an open-source library.
3. Fast Android Networking
Fast Android Networking library provides the fastest way to do networking on android. It is based on OkHttp and is the most powerful open source library with which you can perform all types of networking. You can make GET, PUT, POST, and DELETE requests. You can even perform downloading and uploading files. It really makes networking fast, as its name suggests.
4. Network Connection Class
The library is being maintained by a big tech giant, Facebook. Facebook has many open-source software projects which are very, very useful nowadays. Assume that a user is using an app, and that app has to perform networking on a large amount of data. Like uploading a file or something. At that time, it may happen that the internet connection is not as strong for doing those tasks, so how can we inform the user that your connection is not stable or your connection is very slow? So that he can get the exact idea that the problem is with my network, not with the software or application. Otherwise, he may assume that the application is not good and it will create a negative impact on the users of the application.
Network Connection Class provides us with the possibility of performing some task like sending a notification or a toast message whensoever the internet connection of the user is not good. It is a very good library and this feature is also going to create a better user experience for our application.
5. MP Android Chart
There are many scenarios when you have to show some data to the user. Data can be of different types and the data looks much better if we represent it through charts, diagrams, or graphs. This open-source MP Android Chart provides us with more convenience to represent our data in a wonderful manner. You should use it once and check out its repository on GitHub.
ExoPlayer is an open-source library that provides us with more convenience while we work on playing Audio and Video on android. It is being maintained by Google itself. It is an alternative to the MediaPlayer API by Android. It has many unique and great features which are not in MediaPlayer API, like DASH and SmoothStreaming adaptive playback. It is easier to customize and extend and it can be updated through Play Store updates.
7. Event Bus
Event Bus is another useful open source library and it enables central communication between decoupled classes with just a few lines of code. It simplifies the communication between components and decouples event senders and receivers. It can perform well with UI artifacts. It has many advanced features like subscriber priorities, delivery threads, and more. It’s also tiny and fast. The event bus is really helpful in data communication on Androids.
In android development, the PRDownloader library comes into use when you have to download something from the internet. It could be audio, video, text, APK, pdf, and more. It can be used to download any type of file. It also supports pause and resumes features while downloading something. The best point of PRDownloader is you can download it on a large file also. Many downloads can be made parallel. It also provides many types of callbacks, like onProgress, onCancel, onStart, onError, etc.
The decorator is also very useful for decorating RecyclerView very easily. You all know that RecyclerView is how important it is in android development. However, you have to show some data in the form of a list. RecyclerView comes very handy and at that time if you can decorate that RecyclerView, it will look more professional. It’s very useful to use this library when you are working with RecyclerView. It creates professional looks in your app.
Feedback and ratings are important for an android application. Through it, you can improve the services which are not liked by users. Also, you will get to know what is lagging in your app, and you can work on that part and improve that one. RateBottomSheet is a small open-source library that provides you with this feature. It’s a tiny library but it really helps when you want to remind the user to rate your app. As its name suggests, it shows a reminder at the bottom as a sheet for the user to rate your app.
11. Motion Toast
You are already familiar with Toast. It is just a message which displays on your screen for a few seconds. It automatically becomes invisible after a short and specified duration. Motion Toast is an open-source Android library that provides you with tools to customize the toast message. By default, the toast message does not look professional. It provides a variety of options to customize your toast message. It provides built-in types for toast message Motion Toast, Color Motion Toast, Dark Toast, Success Toast, Error Toast, Warning Toast, and more.
Pluto is an Open-sourced On-device Debugger for Android applications, which helps in the inspection of HTTP requests/responses, captures Crashes, and ANRs, and manipulating application data on the go. It also allows mocking API calls without connecting your device to Charles Proxy or any other tool. It comes with direct integration with Mocklets.