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Top 10 Libraries for Android Developers in 2021

When talking about Android, libraries and frameworks are the ones helping developers to build apps more easily where several aspects (UI elements, debugging etc.) are well defined. 

Such libraries offer detailed documentation, configuration data, templates, pre-built code and much more – all the developers need to get creative. 

These are the libraries you should keep an eye on in the coming years. 

Android Jetpack

Android Jetpack is a selection of software components which helps building reliable Android apps. 

It provides a clear path for developers to build an Android app making it easier to support configuration changes and reduce boilerplate code and complexity with libraries that work across all devices and versions. 

Problems like managing activity lifecycles or preventing memory leaks have been solved by AJ software components. 

Jetpack consists of the androidx.*  package libraries, unfolded from platform APIs, meaning it offers backward compatibility. 

Since it gets updated frequently, you will always have the latest version. 

Source: xda-developers.com

Square/Moshi

Moshi JSON library, created by Square, converts JSON into Java and Kotlin models where converting JSON to Java model (and vice versa) is straightforward. 

It’s a great choice for parsing JSON API responses in Android as it targets the Android platform, uses Kotlin features, it’s faster , it is lightweight with codegen and has a simpler API. 

Moshi is better for you to handle any issues at the boundary of the data layer in your model, rather than reproducing them into the app and tracking them. 

Kotlin’s native language features are supported by Moshi to ensure the type safety of a Kotlin class used with adapters to parse JSON responses. 

Source: dribble.com

Dagger

Dependency injection is a technique where an object receives other objects that it depends on. 

When it comes to a good library for dependency injection, Dagger is a great choice. 

It is a framework allowing developers to generate plain Java code. Its compile-time estimation proved very useful with challenges of large applications maintaining dependency injections. 

Its advantage is that it uses compile-time for evaluating all the dependencies but you will have to tackle a demanding learning curve. 

Nonetheless, Dagger flexibility will pay off in the long run. 

Source: youtube.com

Glide

Dealing with images on Android platform can get very difficult as its API is not optimised for smooth performance. 

That is where Glide comes in – it is a fast image loading library for Android focusing on smooth scrolling. It’s an open source library which includes a flexible API with extensive decoding pipelines and automatic resource pooling. 

Glide helps with fetching, decoding and displaying video stills, images or animated GIFs. (media and image files

Glide uses HttpUrlConnection based stack that includes a versatile API to help developers to connect to almost any network stack.

Source: nigeapptuts.com

Retrofit

Retrofit is the most used in Android development and it represents a type-safe HTTP client for Android and Java.

The library allows developers to define the REST API to incorporate different types of API calls. 

You can easily manage API’s request body, endpoints and headers, add a query parameters and more via annotations, which makes everything clean and simple. 

Retrofit is easy-to-use and offers a separate Rx module so it can work well with RxJava as well – such Rx module returns your API call like an Observable so you can chain it with the rest of your app. 

Source: innovationm.co

Android DataBinding

Data Binding library is a support library allowing you to bind UI elements in your layout to data sources in your app via declarative format rather than using programs. 

Android Databinding library is a view-binding library that achieves its results without use of annotations. 

Code is shorter and easier to read while data and views are clearly separated. You get type safety for accessing views meaning that the compiler validates types while compiling and reports an error if you try to assign the wrong type to a variable. 

It significantly reduces the amount of code written to access views, easy to set up and offers more functionalities.

RxJava

The best library in Android for reactive programming is RxJava. RxJava is an open source implementation of ReactiveX library for Java Virtual Machine (JVM). 

Reactive programming is a huge help to developers so that the app can manage the changes automatically – it refers to event driven programming where data streams come in asynchronous way and get processed as they arrive. 

RxJava enables developers to efficiently coordinate multiple actions simultaneously without using call backs or different actions triggered due to specific events in the system. 

Besides simplifying Android app development, RxJava supports several JVM-based programming languages, implements stream abstracts through Three Core Constructs, simplifies multithreading through Schedulers and is compatible with several third-party libraries. 

Source: blog.novatec-gmbh.de

Room

Room is an official Android ORM – it relies a lot on annotations and standard SQL syntax while its APi is similar to Retrofit API. 

The main benefit of Room over other ORMs is simplicity. While other ORMs come with more complex APIs, Room is incredibly easy to understand thanks to its standard SQL syntax. 

Room also supports the Rx library and both of those libraries work together well. 

Room is a good choice as it can be used without too much effort or time on your side in understanding its documentation.  

Source: pinterest.com

Espresso

Mobile automation testing is a challenging task – Google developed Espresso framework to make this process easier. 

Espresso is a testing framework library allowing you to create and develop UI tests for Android mobile apps. 

Espresso provides a consistent and flexible API for automation of UI tests in an Android mobile app and the tests can be written in both Java and Kotlin. 

You can easily conduct Android UI tests without the ramification of multithreaded testing.  

Features supported by Espresso are simple API, providing separate modules to test and validate Android WebView elements as well as mock Android Intents – providing automatic synchronization between your apps and tests. 

Advantages of Espresso are backward compatibility, it is easy to set up and has a highly stable test cycle while supporting testing activities outside the app as well. 

The testing framework runs on Android devices and testing emulators creating a similar testing experience like end users have. If you want to use this library, you have to add dependencies to the app module. 

Source: blogs.quovantis.com

Robolectric

Robolectric is a great library for unit testing and handling several aspects of Android apps including views, resource loading and more. 

It can debug the Android mobile app against inflation or resource loading, view and other elements – it provides a way to run tests inside Android Studio without launching an app on device or Emulator. 

You can grasp its capacity when reproducing a resilient testing environment where real devices can be tested for Android framework dependency performances. 

It comes with robust scripts for thorough testing of the app functions via real devices and at the same time, other Android framework dependencies continue to work in the background. 

Robolectric provides simulation of the Android SDK for carrying tests and it helps in preventing the need to use separate mocking frameworks. 

How to Choose the Right Library?

No matter if you need an image library, a unit testing library or any other library, you should assess the information to make the choice easier for you. 

Consider the following when choosing the right library:

Popularity 

Check the ratings of the candidate library and how many or how severe are the issues reported for that library – usually, if the majority of developers like it, it can be a good indicator of quality. 

Source Reliability

Do a check up on the author to minimize the risks to get a low-quality library. Check if they are active on Github or if released multiple libraries and try to verify your findings. 

Well-structured Code

Go through the code to check if it’s well-structured – ensure that README files within are comprehensive and up-to-date for smoother and easier integrations. 

Valid Licence

Licence is another factor to impact your decision because the usage of libraries can be limited. Make sure to follow all the terms of a specific library that you want to integrate into your app. 

Open Source Quality

Access the library’s code to review its quality or performance – if you notice lack of transparency, it could signal a security risk. 

Library Recommendations

Most platforms have several existing libraries and the best thing about it is that they are well-maintained and documented. Such libraries ensure low-risk but do your own research to understand their features, limitations and benefits.

Check Core Features

Do not strive to have full control over the code – libraries can cover a wide aspect of use cases. You cannot compromise on the performance, so rely on the actual tested libraries. 

Conclusion 

We chose all described libraries on the basis of their popularity among the Android community and the way our Android experts recommend them for different development needs. 

These libraries in many ways represent the best of choices for every functional need in an Android project. 

A COMPLETE STUDY ON HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR MOBILE APP

Your mobile app needs attention even if the development is ongoing.

When talking about promoting your app, you should start much before the launch and create a community around it giving them a chance to subscribe to your mobile app and wait for the official release. 

The problem usually isn’t the app itself but a lack of promotion – if your app’s benefit is not promoted as effectively as it should, all your hard work may not be awarded. 

Creating a mobile app opens a new channel for you to interact with your users – your audience will always be able to reach out to you with a simple click. 

Remember, the more you promote your mobile app – the easier and faster the entire process becomes. 

Get in Touch

Every mobile app owner wants to understand his users’ expectations – reach out to them and your audience will help you discover gaps you may have missed plus you will connect to them. 

Keep your users engaged through the process of your app’s development as they are the foundation of your business and it can increase your app downloads within your target audience. 

Get in touch with your users and ask about their opinions or suggestions for your app to make it more beneficial for them. 

No matter how you reach out to your users, your new app needs to be imprinted into every aspect of your marketing – add it to your email footer with one line ad and a link directing towards your app download page. Include the links to your website, blog and social media profiles in your email signature to get the most of your reach. 

Source: techmeetups.com

Reach out to Relevant People

Sponsorships can help your brand to build a substantial community – developing beneficial relationships with influences can help you to promote your app. A website like BuzzSumo is a great place to find a list of relevant influencers within your mobile app niche. 

Working with influencers can be arranged in different ways: 

  • Joint venture (promoting your app for a price or an exchange)
  • Share option (if your app is relevant to them)

Reach out and ask if you can get some of their time to discuss the idea and gather some feedback. 

Not only influencers but other people can help you as well – if you find people who would care to write about your industry or niche, they might be interested to write about your awesome solution as well. 

Just make sure not to be pushy as it can turn people away.

Source: mobilemasterminds.com

Build Your Landing Page

Create a great landing page and make a simple and clear introduction with one or two sentences. 

Landing page has all the elements necessary to inform users, engage and help them to share info about your app easily. 

Make download buttons larger to be more noticeable for visitors to try it out. As you scroll down, each panel should have a single call-to-action (CTA) leading directly back to the main CTA being to download your app. 

Make an eye catching app icon as it will attract people to check out your app. Some tips would be to have a unique shape that stands out, choose a limited pallet of colors, avoid using photos or a lot of text as it can turn out to be ineffective (text in icons can be barely readable) etc. 

You can try and create a separate section on your website reserved exclusively for your app or try alternatives and create a pop-up page display whenever someone visits your site. 

Do not forget social media so make use of that space to promote your app – a simple banner with the name of your app and a logo along with the link will do the work. 

Source: blog.hubspot.com

Create Teasers 

Create a teaser landing page and a promo video prior to app launch and collect beta subscribers via an email submission form. 

Source: dribble.com

Videos are an easy way to showcase your mobile app’s value – create a simple 30 second commercial video with Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle principles: Why, How and What?

Your videos should be updated regularly (weekly, monthly, etc.) and make sure to leverage your social media or other platforms to promote your app. You can include your video to your blog post, Instagram, YouTube channel and more. 

The additional benefit is that you can also make advantage of video SEO plus always add your main hashtag and/or descriptive hashtags to maximize exposure on social media. 

Be careful with videos – it should only be the option if you’ve proven your app’s value and gained some traction. Don’t spend too much money to produce a video for an app that has changed multiple times since its launch. 

Source: blog.advids.co

Use Different Methods

You should maintain consistency with regular updates on topics relevant for your mobile app as it will segregate you as a niche expert thus possibly increase your downloads. 

Another way to get your users updated on major changes is to write a blog post announcing your mobile app launch as company update. Including your app into your regular blog is another promotion – you can dedicate the entire blog post solely to your app or include a call-to-action (CTA) button at the end of each blog post inviting your audience to download your mobile app. Include app links, screenshots and videos to help them understand the value of your app better. 

You can also start a podcast and talk about the problem your app resolves in your talk show. A  good idea is to create your own logo stamp and customize it to resemble your style, which you can later distribute around your area or preferred locations.

A good option is to create a SlideShare presentation – it can help someone else in the development of their project plus it can bring a few more downloads along the way. 

Source:Zesium Podcast Youtube

Use Social Media

When you launch a mobile app, it represents a big achievement for your business.

Make sure to share it with the world and use social media in different ways – do it wisely as many people think that copy-and-paste of the link is enough. Be creative with your intro text, engage your audience, post interesting content and make your app click-worthy. You can repost the same content with a different message post to make sure your audience actually received your message.

Other ways are to run a Facebook ad campaign to get more installs or to try AdWords but only if you have defined keywords and enough time to adjust your campaigns if needed. 

Pinterest is another great social platform – share interesting content here just make sure to watermark all your images with your app logo. Users who like your app will flow directly from Pinterest to your website.

Effective way to reach your audience is sharing interesting infographics – you can use tools to create an infographic and share them with your audience via social media profiles.

You can make things more fun – throw a launch party online and host a live broadcast which will be available on various social media networks. That way, you give people a chance to participate and join the party! 

You can take your promotion a step further enabling your users to share their screens or in-app content. It will increase your app’s visibility and create a place where your users can express themselves. 

Source: netsavvies.com

Start a Community

Good places to start your community are Facebook (online groups), Meetup (for local groups), Linkedin (for professional groups) and more – surround yourself with people who follow the same things as you do, engage in discussions and share your own content when relevant. 

You can increase your app’s visibility not only through social media but also through communities to become better known among your audience. 

A community is a great place to ask for the feedback and hand out promo codes for them to try your app – you can discuss the current features, bug fixes or future updates, ask for feedback and much more as it will show them you value their opinion. 

Build strong relationships with your community as it will present the opportunity to grow not only your app’s community but mobile app installs as well.

Source: niche.com

Apply for App Awards

Many organizations award prizes to innovative applications within various categories like functionality, design and more. 

Taking part in such app awards is one of the best ways – it can reveal your app to new audiences and increase your reviews and downloads. Explore such contests online and apply for the ones you think match your app the most. 

Some of the most popular app award sites are:

Source: washingtonexec.com

Get Featured on Mobile App Review Sites

If you want to get featured on any App Review Site, you must send them a pitch for your mobile app – basically, you pitch should explain in a few words why your mobile app is good enough to be reviewed and featured at their site. 

Many of such sites look for e.g. :

  • Pretty graphical design in high quality
  • Original content, themes etc. 
  • Stable app without glitches, bugs, long loading times or other crashes

You will have to provide material to support your app and you can do it via document form listing the following items:

  • A link to your app within in the App Store
  • A summary describing your app and why it is unique
  • Screenshots of your app logo, home screen and in-app content
  • Videos of your app (Youtube, Vimeo etc.)
  • A promo code for a free app download (if it’s paid)

Receiving reviews about your app is an easy way to take advantage of another’s site traffic as well – check some lists of the best places to submit your app and go for it!

App Store Optimization (ASO)

App Store Optimization (ASO) is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for the app stores (both Google Play and App Store). 

ASO pays attention to relevance of the keywords and search as well as on the keyword frequency in your description. 

Optimize your icon, title, description and your screenshots so that your app can be found quicker within the official app stores. Having this in mind, choose your keywords and categories carefully as it will determine your ranking. 

Google Play and App Store are the most famous but not the only app stores at the market. There are alternative app stores on the online market where you can place your app:

Engage in Online Communication

Always contribute to online conversations – if your users take the time to write feedback for your mobile app, you should take time to respond to them. 

Don’t leave automated messages for your users as it may result in users leaving feeling you don’t take care of their concerns or suggestions. No matter whether the review is positive or negative, reach out to them and let them know you’re trying to resolve the issue or ask your happy users to leave a rating on the app store but keep it real.

Focus on nurturing your existing users – if you accomplish to build a community that can provide you with valuable feedback to help your app become better, then you will manage to create a more successful campaign for new users acquisition.

Always go for a direct conversation with your users, ask them questions, encourage suggestions about your app and more – remember, not all communication has to drive downloads. Keep your communication worthy – offer advice or help to users who have a problem and app downloads will start increasing. Always keep in mind that word-of-mouth is ‘the best medium of all’.  

You can create an invite system if your app is paid – offer users to choose if they will pay for the app or invite their friends. You can also re-engage with your current users since Google and Facebook have an initiative where you can run ads to drive users to try your mobile app. 

Another great way is to actually help your users promote your app. Create a recommendation system and add a button ‘tell a friend that your users can share your app with friends – for better success, incentivize it with discounts for each new subscriber, like in Duolingo app. 

Source: reddit.com

Offers and Support

Make the process of promoting your app a fun one!

Set an amusing task for your audience to complete and tag themselves with your specific hashtag on social media to follow the development of your app and reward the winners publicly.  

You can set up various categories for users to climb up the ranks: by sharing the app, engaging with your brand or having their friends sign up as it will encourage your users to try out your mobile app.

Discount is always a good way to approach your users if you are working with in-app purchases – you can offer cheaper prices on certain days, occasions etc. and let the users know via push notification or a newsletter. 

Similar to discounts are coupons – find a coupon service relevant to yoru market and try a campaign. 

Offer your users a free trial if your app is paid for, and you can collect potential user details. You can later reach out to them and explore if they don’t sign up – ask about their needs and build a relationship. 

No matter how you create your offers (discounts, coupons, promo codes etc.), remember that users will more likely get onboard if they can save some money. 

Source: appdexa.com

Track Analytics and Performance 

Always check your analytics via various tools to get insight into how your users interact with your mobile app. Track the data, draw conclusions, prepare an action plant and go for it! 

Three are various ways to analyze your users behaviour – install a touch heatmap, use navigation paths, session recordings and other methods and analyze what content people care and do not care about. 

Keep track of your app’s performance and the overall user satisfaction – the sooner you detect any problems, the sooner you can resolve it. 

Be your App’s Ambassador

You can give your contribution and engage in public speaking or share your expertise at conferences, webinars and similar events. Talk about the problem your app is solving and not just about your app. 

You can extend the reach and share your expertise via guest blogs – you can always put a backlink to your app within the blog and it can only help for your users’ list to grow. 

Offer your users a newsletter with valuable content and keep collecting email addresses to grow your list. 

In case of negative reviews, focus on helping people to solve their problem as such action will evoke positive reactions and possibly make more ambassadors of your app. 

You should always keep your content fresh and let your users know that you’re making your app better for them. 

Source: pinterest.com

Be Prepared For Press

Prepare a press kit to ensure the best chance of getting your story published. Your PR kit should include: 

  • Your app summary guide
  • Your press release
  • Screenshots (app)
  • Design (icons, logos, banners etc.)
  • Videos (intro or demo video, onboarding video etc.)
  • Founder’s bio and photos

Once you’ve prepared everything, you can move forward and check the free press release distribution sites to get started. 

Final Word

When talking about your mobile app, everything counts – from placing the widgets, beautiful layout designs up to the engaging content. 

Despite countless hours and attention, many businesses still do not get the adoption they hope for – instead of thousands of people downloading your app, you get a dozen or so. 

Put all your efforts into promoting your mobile app once you decide to develop it – a long term strategy will result in harvesting more downloads, more users and more visibility for your mobile  application at the market.  

The Business Benefits of Voice Assistants

Voice assistant technology has quickly become a part of our everyday lives. 

Voice assistance technology helps us to perform tasks using voice commands – you can control automated devices at home, manage emails or messages similar to the Reata app we’ve developed, set calendars and more. 

Nowadays the most popular voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant and Cortana of Microsoft serve our regular needs like creating to-do lists, play music or videos, provide miscellaneous information, read audio books and much more. 

Voice assistance does not serve only the private individual – it can be an excellent economic tool where companies can deploy it to improve productivity in the workplace. Introducing voice technology to your business operations can bring many benefits like reduced costs, improved efficiency and a competitive advantage on the market. 

Let’s see more benefits of voice assistant technology when applied in business:

Streamlines Business Operations

Voice technology within your company can help to improve your employees’ productivity as voice assistants can remember important dates or deadlines, schedule appointments and in general, keep the relevant information updated.

With integrating AI innovations and Deep Learning, the voice assistants work without stopping! They access reports, analyze data and keep crucial systems updated helping your business with seamless daily operations. 

Such task efficiency offers your employees more time to be productive and resourceful on other tasks thus reducing operational cost. 

Source: appinventiv.com

Improves eCommerce Marketing

eCommerce companies can use voice assistant chatbots to serve their customers – it is efficient especially for people with mobility or visual restrictions thus providing an outstanding customer experience to everyone. 

Voice assistants are able to personalize systems and provide marketers with enhanced consumer insights thus improve marketing. 

Chatbot for customers can offer an enjoyable online shopping experience at any device, while businesses can program such assistant chatbots to obtain (with consent, of course) consumer details like interests, transaction history, location etc. After you collect data, you can improve your business’s personalized marketing strategy and also improve/boost your website via SEO (Search Engine Optimization). 

The benefit of voice assistants is the way they can push companies and products to customers – interaction with consumers is much more conversational while brands can reach their customers in more natural and more compelling ways. 

Source: speak2web.com

Provides HR Support

If you integrate voice assistants for HR purposes, your HR officers will be able to focus on more complex tasks while voice technology can enable them to select qualified candidates or even conduct the preliminary interview. Machine Learning algorithms allow the hiring process to proceed quickly and more effectively. 

Voice assistants can help HR with scheduling – assistants can schedule interviews, training, meetings, reviews and more. With a simple voice command, meetings can be held without any threat of overlaps. 

Remove Language Barriers

Voice assistant technology integrates with translation services, helping your business to handle any language barriers that may occur. 

In our recent project Reata, the app seamlessly translates speech commands from the mic or text messages where users can read and hear the received messages in their own language allowing them to interact more freely. 

A good example is Google assistant which understands 27 different languages and counting. If you integrate voice assistant technology within eCommerce business, you can offer your consumers communication in their own language which leads to smoother customer experience and more revenue. 

Source: wsj.com

Improves Your Customer Service

Voice assistant technology is a useful tool to support businesses’ customer service – responding to queries, processing payments and following up on orders are just some of the tasks on the plate to optimize your customer service. 

As opposed to customer support agents, voice assistants do not take breaks thus enabling your business to be available at all times to respond to customers’ queries. 

These smart devices are called personal assistants for a reason – they serve as your secretary answering calls, booking appointments, taking messages and more. 

Source: smartcompany.com.au

Automates Repetitive Tasks

Including voice assistant technology to your business operations will not only improve your customer experience but also will improve your business’s productivity. 

Automating repetitive tasks to a voice assistant will free up more time to your employees. This way, all your resources that generate business growth will generate more revenue.

You can program voice assistants to deal with all your routine tasks to help your employees focus on other relevant tasks and not waste time on dull tasks. 

Source: chatbotjournal.com

Serves Customers with Visual Impairment

Voice technology has advanced a long way in responding to voice commands – integrating the technology to your business operations makes the interaction with smart devices more convenient and provides services to those people who have visual impairment. 

Voice technology will ensure that your customers with visual impairment get appropriate customer service no matter the part of the day. 

This can address not only customers but also employees with visual impairment – they can use a voice assistant to get any tasks done like anyone else. 

Source: istockphoto.com

Final Word

Not only does voice technology serve as a great assistant but it can also boost human talent, improve customer personalization and optimize productivity. 

The technology or the service a business uses determines its success – its competitive edge is an important factor and incorporating voice assistant technology into any business operations will surely improve your market advantage.