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Top 10 Kotlin Libraries to Develop Android Apps Faster

yuvrajv5 profile image Yuvrajsinh Vaghela ・5 min read

Have you started using Kotlin for your Android app development project?

Being an Android developer, you might have tried your hands on this new programming language that developed by JetBrains (the makers of IntelliJ IDEA).

Unquestionably, the Kotlin community is growing dramatically, and everyone is talking about it. Even, a lot of developers have started learning about different Kotlin libraries that can help them to develop more powerful Android apps.

When it comes to talking about Kotlin libraries, there are various libraries available. But selecting only those libraries that improve the productivity and make the overall development process simpler is much important.

If you have started using Kotlin or thinking to start with this new programming language to develop Android apps, you must check out these 10 Kotlin libraries that help you in your next Android app development project. Even, this post is useful for the people who want to hire Kotlin developers, you can use this as a cross-question to know the technical expertise.

1. Anko

Anko is a Kotlin library that makes Android app development faster and easier. Maintained by JetBrains, the main purpose of this library is to make code clean and easy to read. It allows developers to forget about rough edges of the Android SDK for Java.

There are four main components of this library, including Commons, Layouts, SQLite, and Coroutines. The main module has several helper functions and features. While Layouts allow users to create UI from Kotlin code using a feature called Anko DSL.

The SQLite makes interacting with SQLite database much simpler. Lastly, Coroutines provides a few helper functions for one of Kotlin 1.1. Moreover, Anko library has a meta-dependency that plugs in different available features, including Commons, Layouts, SQLite into your project at once.

GitHub - https://github.com/Kotlin/anko

2. RxKotlin

RXKotlin is a lightweight Kotlin library that adds suitable extension functions to RxJava, allowing developers to use RxJava with Kotlin exceptionally. However, Kotlin has language features like extension functions in order to streamline usage of RxJava even more.

The main aim of this library is to conventionally gather these conveniences in one centralized library and standardize conventions for making use of RxJava with Kotlin.
This library is reactive based, where codes are not activated until it knows it’s end mean. Moreover, if want to learn more about RxKotlin library, Learning RxJava is the best book and chapter 12 covers RxKotlin and Kotlin idioms with RxJava.

GitHub – https://github.com/ReactiveX/RxKotlin

3. FlexboxLayout

FlexBoxLayout is a Kotlin library that used for bringing the same functionalities of the CSS Flexible Layout module to Android. FlexboxLayout can be interpreted as an advanced LinerLayout because both layouts align their child views sequentially.

One of the major difference between LinearLayout and FlexboxLayout is that FlexboxLayout has a feature for wrapping. Generally, there are two different ways of making use of Flexbox in your layout.

The first one is FlexboxLayout, which extends the ViewGroup like LinearLayout and RelativeLayout. However, it is also possible to specify the attributes from a layout XML. And the second one is FlexboxLayoutManager that used within RecyclerView.

GitHub - https://github.com/google/flexbox-layout

4. Kotlin/Native

Talking about Kotlin/Native library, it is an LLVM backend for the Kotlin compiler, runtime implementation, and native code generation facility with the help of LLVM toolchain.
Mainly, this library is designed to allow compilation for platforms, where virtual machines are not desirable or possible, or where a developer seeks to produce a reasonably-sized self-contained program without the need to ship an additional execution runtime.

Some of the basics of Kolin/Native Library:

Make sure you install JDK for your platform rather than JRE. The build needs tools.jar that is not included in JRE.
On macOS install Xcode 9.3
On Fedora 26+ yum install ncurses – compat-libs may be required.

GitHub: https://github.com/JetBrains/kotlin-native

5. KBinding

KBinding is another top Kotlin databinding library that is widely used with Anko to enable databinding in a fluent yet easy to understand syntax. KBinding is one such Kotlin library that allows users to bind the data od their models directly to the xml views in a much flexible way.

There are four different binding modes, including:

OneWay: Binding from model to view
TwoWay: Binding from model to view and view to model
OneWayToSource: Binding from view to model
OneTime: Binding from model to view, and auto release after first emit

GitHub: https://github.com/BennyWang/KBinding

6. Gradle Kotlin DSL

The Gradle Kotlin DSL is a Kotlin library that provides support for writing Gradle build scripts using JetBrains’ Kotlin language. The library mainly aims to provide Gradle users with a flexible, rich and statically-typed approach to developing logic in conjunction with the best IDE and tooling experience possible.

One of the fastest ways to get up and running with a Kotlin-based Gradle build is to work with one of the samples. You will find complete instructions in the README there. There are many helpful getting started notes for when your build logic gets more complicated.

GitHub – https://github.com/gradle/kotlin-dsl

7. KillerTask

KillerTask is a Kotlin Android library to develop async background tasks. Generally, it is inspired by TiinyTask, but more beautiful and easy-to-use for Kotlin Android development. As you know that Android’s AsyncTasks are disapproved for being bad, outdated, and unreliable.

However, there is better alternative available that is a quick and simple way to run something in the background. Written in Kotlin language, this library is a perfect option for Android programmers to build async background tasks.

GitHub – https://github.com/inaka/KillerTask

8. Koi

Koi is a lightweight Android Kotlin library that comes with a lot of useful extensions and functions. These extensions and functions can help in decreasing the boilerplate code in Android applications.

Mainly, this library comes with a powerful extension that is called asyncSafe. Apart from this, this Kotlin library consists a lot of useful extension functions, allowing developers to save their keystrokes.

GitHub - https://github.com/mcxiaoke/kotlin-koi

9. Kotson

Kotson allows developers to parse and write JSON with Google’s Gson with the help of conciser and easier syntax. Being a set of extension functions, Kotson library adds utility functions and syntactic sugars to Gson in Kotlin.

Neither this library adds new features to Gson nor does it develop new types. It is useful on any Gson object, whether created from Java or Kotlin in source or library. Moreover, this Kotlin library is recommended because it’s serialization, deserialization methods that are based on Gson.

GitHub – https://github.com/SalomonBrys/Kotson

10. KAndroid

KAndroid is a Kotlin library for Android apps development. The library provides some of the useful extensions in order to eliminate boilerplate code in Android SDK and focusing on productivity.

KAndroid library is a great option, so you can avoid writing much code for common functions like SearchView query text change, ViewPager implementation, and Handler implementation. It is compatible with Kotlin 1.2.30 build. To know more about this library, visit this link.

GitHub - https://github.com/pawegio/KAndroid

On a Concluding Note

So, these are the top 10 Android Kotlin libraries that allow Android developers to develop more powerful Android apps more easily and quickly. Apart from these libraries, if you think that any other Kotlin library should be in this list, please share it by commenting below.

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