7 Best Libraries That Can Streamline Android Development

The open source Android platform has been dramatically improved since its emergence and delivers great convenience to its end users as well as Android developers. Its framework has been designed to ensure fast and efficient development cycle, by facilitating developers with some proficient development tools like versatile, open-source libraries.

With its each updated version, this mobile OS has introduced significant improvements to the Android API that enables quality mobile app development along with cross-device compatibility. Moreover, its amazing features have encouraged several developers to contribute in the Android development, and fortunately, they have offered a plethora of useful libraries.

For the Android developers, who are looking for some popular and resourceful libraries, here is a list of certain utile and user-friendly Android libraries that you must know about. It can lend you a heck lot of convenience while developing the Android applications.

7 Best Libraries That Can Streamline Android Development

1. Action Bar Sherlock:

Every Android application must possess an action bar for facilitating navigation ease and for that matter, this library is just the perfect choice. This powerful library backports API Action bar to the Android 2.x versions.

This Android paradigm implements menu replacement, tab navigation, and comprises a bar to represent application at the top. It also allows one to implement tab navigation using menu buttons without any physical key, in a split mode, and even facilitates the movement of icons to the menu (if the screen space overflows).

2. Retrofit:

Ideal for coverting the REST API into a Java interface, this library offers a perfect solution for maintaining the API calls in a project in an uncluttered and well-organized fashion. It adds the relative URLs and requested methods along with suitable elucidation for better and clean coding. The added annotations allow developers to conveniently manipulate the URL, headers, and the requisite parameters as and when desired.

You can use it to either end synchronously (by defining a certain appropriate return type) or asynchronously (by implementing Callback with each success or failure).

By default Retrofit implements Gson (an open-source Java library), and thus, with this library, the custom parsing is not required and it also supports other converters.

Code Snippet:

public interface RetrofitInterface {


// asynchronously with a callback


User getUser(@Query(“user_id”) int userId, Callback<User> callback);


// synchronously


User registerUser(@Body User user);




// example

RetrofitInterface retrofitInterface = new RestAdapter.Builder()



// fetch user with id 2048

retrofitInterface.getUser(2048, new Callback<User>() {


public void success(User user, Response response) {





public void failure(RetrofitError retrofitError) {




3. ActiveAndroid:

If you are looking for a simple and efficient Object-relation mapping (ORM) for your application, this library offers an elegant solution. You can implement this library conveniently in your program code, as it is as simple as defining and saving objects into the SQLite database.

It features a setup of classes with Java annotations that makes the configuration process more handy and instantaneous and thus, facilitates the developer to contribute more time upon the login instead of the syntaxes. This is an absolute library that every developer must use.

4. ViewPagerIndicator:

You might have observed that the Android Support Library facilitates horizontal scrolling via ViewPager, which offers developers to integrate various fragments side by side that users can access simply by swiping the screen; but, it doesn’t provide the position indicator (like that in the Google+). For injecting such customizable indicator into the application, you can use the ViewPagerIndicator library.

5. EventBus for Android:

Are you finding it hard while simplifying the interaction between the several parts of the application? Use the EventBus library and accomplish the task with greater efficiency. For instance, you can use this library to ensure a smooth interaction between the fragments, or to send something to an executing Service from an Activity.

The following piece of code epitomizes how to inform a running activity about the lost Internet connection.

public class NetworkStateReceiver extends BroadcastReceiver


// post event if there is no Internet connection

public void onReceive(Context context, Intent intent) {

super.onReceive(context, intent);

if(intent.getExtras()!=null) {

NetworkInfo ni=(NetworkInfo) intent.getExtras().get(ConnectivityManager.EXTRA_NETWORK_INFO);

if(ni!=null && ni.getState()==NetworkInfo.State.CONNECTED) {

// there is Internet connection

} else if(intent

.getBooleanExtra(ConnectivityManager.EXTRA_NO_CONNECTIVITY,Boolean.FALSE)) {

// no Internet connection, send network state changed

EventBus.getDefault().post(new NetworkStateChanged(false));




// event

public class NetworkStateChanged {


private mIsInternetConnected;


public NetworkStateChanged(boolean isInternetConnected) {

this.mIsInternetConnected = isInternetConnected;



public boolean isInternetConnected() {

return this.mIsInternetConnected;




public class HomeActivity extends Activity {



protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {




EventBus.getDefault().register(this); // register EventBus




protected void onDestroy() {


EventBus.getDefault().unregister(this); // unregister EventBus



// method that will be called when someone posts an event NetworkStateChanged

public void onEventMainThread(NetworkStateChanged event) {

if (!event.isInternetConnected()) {

Toast.makeText(this, “No Internet connection!”, Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();






6. Tesseract:

This is a great OCR (Optical Character reader) engine that offers highly optimized optical character reader and features cross-platform compatibility. Google has expansively improved this engine. However, implementing this library will require some prior basic knowledge of deploying NDK in an Android application.

Moreover, when it is used along with the Leptonica Image Processing Library, it even facilitates the reading of a huge variety of image formats and turn them into the corresponding text for more than 60 languages.

7. Universal Image Loader:

Now, you can load and cache the images asynchronously by using Universal Image Loader (UIL) library for Android. Indubitably, Picasso offers a nice and a much convenient API, but it doesn’t offer the customization feature. However, unlike Picasso, the UIL configuration builder allows one to configure almost everything that is required for fetching and caching the bulky and large images.

This library can be used by implementing the following line of code.

imageLoader.displayImage(imageUri, imageView);

Wrapping Up:

Open source Android libraries ensure more convenient and effective Android development framework. Since, popular libraries are ought to be duly tested and easily accessible, it’s better to implement the most popular and resourceful libraries while developing Android applications. The above mentioned are a few of the highly admired libraries; you can use the suitable one for accomplishing your project with greater precision and ease.

Author Signature: Lucie Kruger is an eminent Senior Content Editor and IT consultant for Mobiers Ltd – Mobile Apps Development Services. You can also contact her, if you are looking forward to hire mobile application developer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *