How stunning UI libraries can transform your Android app
User interface (UI) libraries can help you create beautiful and efficient apps. Using these libraries can help you save time and create a more polished product.
A UI library can be a great asset to any app. It can provide a wide range of pre-made components that you can use to quickly and easily build your user interface. This can save you a lot of time and hassle, and allow you to focus on the more important aspects of your app.
Great UI, along with meaningful interactions, helps create long-lasting impressions on users, which impacts app retention. However, implementing modern UI design in Android can be complex and overwhelming at times. To make things easier, you can incorporate UI libraries into your app, which provide rich APIs and documentation.
Yet, with the presence of innumerable open-source UI libraries, it can be confusing to select the correct library for your project. So, to make things easier for you, we have researched and explored to come up with a list of the best Android UI libraries that will help elevate your applications to the next level!
Best Android UI Libraries
Visual aids help users understand and process information in a better manner. In addition, it helps in attracting users’ attention and explaining the data with ease. Hence, several Android applications incorporate charts to present information and data.
MPAndroidChart is one such Android UI library that provides developers with a wide range of charts. This library can be used on Android API level 8 and above, while it requires Android API level 11 or above for supporting animations.
MPAndroidChart is highly customizable and provides 25 exciting built-in animations. That’s not all; with this library, you can build the following charts:
- Simple BarChart
- Grouped BarChart
- Horizontal BarChart
- Cubic Lines LineChart
- Gradient Fill LineChart
- CombinedChart — Line & BarChart
In any app, animations play a key role in providing an engaging visual experience and attracting users’ attention. At times, it can be challenging for developers to recreate animations provided by the designers. Here is where Lottie-Android can come in handy.
Developers can use the Lottie library to parse Adobe AfterEffects animations exported as JSON with Bodymovin, and render them beautifully on mobile devices. With the help of Lottie, even designers can create and develop beautiful animations without the need for an engineer’s assistance.
You can also create your animations by using AfterEffects or selecting from pre-built templates present on LottieFiles.
Lists are one of the most important UI elements for any app since it represents a range of information. Similarly, RecyclerView is a widely used Android component for displaying a list of items.
Unfortunately, it can become challenging to use RecyclerView when displaying a list that scrolls across various directions (horizontally and vertically). Enter Epoxy, an open-source UI library that was developed to simplify the process of working with RecyclerView, while adding on additional functionalities.
Epoxy simplifies the process of incorporating view holders, diffing items, binding data changes, span counts, item IDs, item types, and multiple view type screens. Furthermore, Epoxy also supports view state and automatic diffing.
Advanced RecyclerView is an open-source library that offers advanced, powerful features, and extensions over RecyclerView. This library can only be incorporated on an API level of 14 and above. Some of the aforementioned features of Advanced RecyclerView include:
- Expand: An expandable/collapsible group and its children.
- Swipe: Swipe pinning and swipe dismiss operations.
- Drag and Drop: Smooth item reordering with a linear list.
- Wrapper Adapter: Add additional features to RecyclerView.Adapter by using decorators (headers, footers, combining multiple adapters, etc.).
- Miscellaneous: Combination of the expand, swipe, drag and drop, and wrapper adapter features.
uCrop is an image cropping tool that aims to provide developers with an excellent and flexible image cropping experience. This UI library includes features like image scaling, image rotation, and aspect ratio changes.
VectorDrawables are great for removing scaling problems and defining animations, but they lack control. Hence, you can use VectorMaster to control VectorDrawables dynamically. This open-source UI library provides the following features:
- Control: Control each attribute related to a path, group, vector and alpha, stroke width, translation, scale, rotation, clip-path like color, etc.
- Clip Paths: Supports editing clip paths.
- Trimming: Allows trimming of paths using trimEnd, trimStart, and trimOffset.
Shadows form an integral part of modern apps since they play a vital role in providing depth and adding elevation to various elements. Native shadow features in Android are adequate but lack a variety of customization options. Additionally, to use these features, developers must understand elevation and z-depth to achieve the required shadows.
Hence, you can incorporate Long Shadows into your Android application. This UI library competently generates and renders exquisite shadows in Android.
One of the most fascinating animations in app development is the liquid/water drop simulation, which can be challenging to implement. That’s why the appearance of MetaBalls-LIB-Android is a boon. This user interface library provides several elements that simulate the liquid effect, also known as the metaball effect.
MetaBalls-LIB-Android offers four customizable widgets for integration with your Android project, including Metaball Circular Menu, Metaball Directional Menu, Metaball Page Indicator, etc and Metaball Progress Bar.
WoWoViewPager fuses ViewPager and Animations to provide a simple and engaging manner of creating tutorial screens. If you drag the WoWoViewPager, the animations burst into life and create exciting effects.
This UI library allows you to create simple and complex animations such as scale, alpha, translation, background color, path-drawing, SVG-drawing, and GIF-playing with corresponding custom views.
ColorPickerView is an exciting open-source UI library that helps developers get ARBG values, HSV colors, and HEX color code from any image drawables or any image obtained from a gallery. But, how is it done? All you need to do is tap on the desired color; it cannot get simpler than that. Furthermore, this library also supports saving and restoring selected data, and editing alpha and brightness values.
Compose-Backstack is a library for Jetpack Compose that allows developers to render animated transitions and backstacks of screens when the stack changes. Despite not being a navigation library, it can be easily plugged into another navigation library.
Compose-Backstack API is said to be similar to other composables that draw lists. Why? Since it uses a set of a list of keys and a composable process that knows how to draw a key.
In such cases, each key represents a unique screen in the backstack. So, when the top key in the stack changes, the screen lights up and animates with a transition.
Get Your App Developed
These are just some of the ways to enhance your Android application without much difficulty, and dare we say; it’s quite fun too!
If you think it’s not your cup of tea, just outsource your app development over to us. We’d love to help out and take your app to the next level!