Best Open Source Android Frameworks to Reinforce Your Mobile Development in 2018

Even though Android users control the lion share of a mobile OS market, you still need to battle for their attention. The only way to win over the majority of Android enthusiasts is to provide them with a top-notch application.

We have already offered you our favourite Android frameworks and development tools, promising to disclose more instruments for building a successful Android app. 2018 is in its full swing, so we keep getting you acquainted with hot trends to rock your app development and launch a profitable product this year.

REALM

Realm

Realm keeps retaining a leading position when it comes to efficient mobile database solutions and Android frameworks. IBM Watson, an outstanding AI and machine learning computer system, has once partnered with it to develop a Scanner mobile app. They also pushed the source code to GitHub to help developers deal with creating more powerful products. This cooperation brought Realm to the top of Android frameworks’ ecosystem and gained lots of fans worldwide.

Built specifically for mobile devices, Realm is flexible enough to reduce the app development time. The framework is robust, fast and lightweight, outpacing regular SQLite, which is times heavier and slower. Realm is an indispensable tool for developers to build agile apps with the enhanced user experience.

Realm is easy to use, as it doesn’t require massive walls of code. For example, it takes only a few lines to query the database, and there’s no need to utilize Object-Relational Mapping (ORM), also known for multiple performance and maintenance issues. The tool’s two-way data binding can also be implemented in several code strokes, saving data to the server and integrating complex features times quicker. Moreover, Realm supports advanced features like encryption, migrations and easy thread-safety.

By the way, one of the startups successfully leveraging Realm is Cartasite, which earned $7.5 million funding in 2017.

Learning the framework is as smooth as creating an app on it — courses on Lynda and actionable tutorials in the Realm academy or YouTube may assist developers in becoming Realm gurus within a short time frame.

BUTTER KNIFE

The ButterKnife library will let you avoid chunks of useless and repetitive code, ensuring consistent performance of view elements in your activities, fragments and holders. The tool will help you bind fields, methods and the layout views, grouping separate items into lists or arrays. Thus, you will be able to manage all of them simultaneously. The framework also removes resource lookups with annotations on fields and eliminates inner-classes.

If you have concerns whether your developers can learn to work with ButterKnife in-house, don’t worry! It doesn’t take much time, and several detailed descriptions and video lessons can resolve your question.

STRIPE

Stripe

Stripe is an open-source framework to manage payments. If you wish to step towards a whole world and make your app more accessible, be sure to incorporate Stripe, as it accepts money transactions from any country.

Braintree, another popular Android framework dealing with payments, also supports fees from different countries, but Stripe is more flexible and accessible to integrate. Many businesses have chosen to use Stripe for their apps, including Glossier, luxury skincare and makeup brand, which disrupted a beauty industry and let users order items and pay for them without any fuss.

With the help of Stripe Java library for Android, users have no issues submitting payments from their applications. You can even establish a recurring billing system or save credit card data for further use to simplify both your and your customers’ life.

PICASSO

If your smartphone’s operating system is Android, then you’re likely to use at least one of Picasso-powered apps. The most popular apps built using this Android framework are Samsung Health and Microsoft Outlook, so don’t hesitate to check it out as well!

Picasso is a hassle-free image downloading and caching Android framework, allowing you to transform images and utilize a device’s memory to display them. It helps to reduce mobile pages’ loading time, as your gadget won’t need to request a picture from the server but will retrieve it from the cache memory. Picasso is mainly used by applications, which include and operate photo galleries, like photo editors or beauty, shopping and social apps.

Picasso is simple to implement, as it usually fits in one line of code:

Picasso code

This Android framework improves UX, has a tiny size, doesn’t freeze UI and supports WebP. However, there is still one disadvantage — users complain it takes a while to load heavy images from the Internet into the ListView.

CORONA SDK

The next tool is a game development Android framework. Most likely, you’ve heard or even played The Lost City or Draw Rider Plus games — these popular apps that earned thousands of downloads are powered by Corona SDK.

Based on Lua scripting language, Corona is lightweight, fast and compelling. Such games as Warcraft™ and Angry Birds™, for example, are also built on Lua. Corona SDK allows you to create 2D mobile apps without changing any code. Additionally, it supports various plugins to extend features and adapt to end-user requirements.

The framework allows you to reduce your development resources and requires little time to get learnt. Corona website offers numerous tutorials, guides and learning resources to gain the best knowledge about the tool’s features, no matter if you’re a newbie or an experienced game developer.

And a few last tips

Tip #1: None of your efforts to develop a first-rate app will make it advantageous if you don’t track its performance and results. We have compared best analytics apps in one of our previous articles, so we suggest you also choose one of the listed tools on top of this selection of frameworks.

Tip#2: For web developers who got used to working with JavaScript, HTML or CSS only, building a native app can still be a challenge. However, many tools can bridge this gap and help you create a decent product. PhoneGap, Ionic, SenchaTouch and many others are fundamental JavaScript, CSS and HTML Android frameworks if developing an application on Java is too much for you. Stay tuned to our blog and don’t miss our post describing the most popular ones.

Tip#3: If you think of launching an Android app, don’t hesitate to contact us for actionable insights and assistance in the development process. Our experts will help you turn your bold ideas into an outstanding application!

20 Apr 2018
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Olya Bohun / Tech Enthusiast
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