The Top Kotlin Libraries and Frameworks for App Development

Kotlin, the popular programming language for Android app development, has a host of libraries and frameworks that can make development easier, faster...

Written by Niel Patel · 4 min read >
Kotlin for android app development

Kotlin, the popular programming language for Android app development, has a host of libraries and frameworks that can make development easier, faster and more efficient. These Kotlin libraries and frameworks offer pre-built components and functionalities to help developers save time and effort while building complex apps. From DI frameworks to networking libraries to UI layouts, there’s a Kotlin library or framework for any need. Here we will explore the top Kotlin libraries and frameworks for app development, highlighting their key features, advantages and use cases. 

What is an Application Framework?

An application framework is a structured set of software components that provides developers with a standard way of building applications. It includes a set of tools, libraries, and runtime environments that allow developers to focus on the specific needs of their applications without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. An application framework typically provides a modular architecture that supports the separation of concerns and allows for flexible design and development strategies. It enables developers to reuse code modules, reducing app development time and effort. 

What is an App Development Library/

An App Development Library is a collection of resources and tools that facilitate and streamline the creation process of mobile applications. It includes various pre-built components, software development kits (SDKs), coding frameworks, and other resources developers can use to create more efficient apps. App Development Libraries help developers speed up app development, reduce development costs, and ensure that apps have consistent functionality and user experience across different platforms. 

Some Popular Kotlin Frameworks

There exist several Kotlin frameworks that enjoy wide usage, with a few of the prominent ones enumerated herein:

1. Spring:

Spring Kotlin Framework is a powerful tool for building enterprise-grade applications. It is an extension of the popular Spring Framework and provides a concise and expressive syntax for developing robust and scalable applications. The Spring Kotlin support for functional programming and reactive streams enables efficient usage of computing resources. It also simplifies the configuration and initialization of application components, making it easier to set up and configure complex systems. With its robust and flexible architecture, Spring Kotlin Framework is a popular choice for developing microservices, RESTful APIs, and web applications. 

2. Micronaut

Micronaut is a modern JVM-based framework for building microservices-based applications. It offers built-in features like dependency injection, configuration management, and easy-to-use development tools. Developers can build high-performance and scalable applications with ease. Micronaut provides fast startup time and low memory consumption, making it a great choice for building cloud-native applications. 

3. Vert.x

The Vert.x Kotlin framework is an open-source toolkit for building reactive, event-driven applications on the JVM. Kotlin and Vert.x provide a high-performance, scalable platform for building microservices and web applications. Vert.x Kotlin supports both imperative and functional programming styles, allowing developers to choose the approach that best fits their needs. It also offers powerful features such as reactive streams, WebSockets, and event buses, bringing many possibilities for modern application development.  

4. Ktor

Ktor is a lightweight and powerful Kotlin framework for building asynchronous server-side web applications. It is designed to be fast and efficient, with a small memory footprint and low overhead. Ktor provides a simple and intuitive API that enables developers to quickly create web services that can handle HTTP requests and responses and can be used to build web services, RESTful APIs, and mobile backends. It is also modular and customizable, allowing developers to choose the components they need and configure them to suit their specific needs.  

5. Javalin

The Javalin Kotlin Framework is a web framework that has been optimized for high performance while simplifying the development of modern web applications. It is built with Kotlin, allowing developers to write clean and expressive code using a concise syntax. The framework is lightweight, user-friendly, and easily scalable, making it an excellent choice for developers seeking to create speedy and efficient web applications. Javalin supports asynchronous programming, web sockets, and static files, among other features, making it a versatile option for various applications. With its user-friendly API and active community, the Javalin Kotlin Framework is dependable for developing high-quality web applications.

Some Popular Kotlin Libraries

Here are some top Kotlin libraries available in the market:

1. Anko

The Anko Kotlin library is a set of utilities for Android developers that simplifies several common tasks. It includes several mini-libraries that help with layout creation, database access, and asynchronous processing. One of the most popular features of Anko is its DSL (Domain Specific Language) for creating UI elements in code. Using this DSL, developers can quickly and easily define complex UI components without needing XML layouts. 

2. Koin

Koin is a lightweight dependency injection framework written in Kotlin. It is inspired by Spring and Dagger and aims to simplify the development process by reducing boilerplate code. Koin relies heavily on Kotlin’s functionality, such as extension functions and named parameters, to provide a simple syntax. It is easy to learn and requires minimal configuration, making it a popular choice for small to medium-sized projects. 

3. Retrofit

The Retrofit Kotlin library drives efficient HTTP communication in Android applications. It simplifies developing robust REST API calls and uses annotations to describe API endpoints. Retrofit also includes optional converters that can transform response data into a preferred format. This powerful library’s approach to creating an HTTP client makes it possible to build high-quality, maintainable applications with minimal boilerplate code.

4. Room

The Room Kotlin library is a powerful tool for managing local databases in Android applications. It simplifies interacting with the SQLite database by providing a set of high-level APIs that allow developers to query the database with ease. With Room, developers can easily store, retrieve, and modify data in the database without worrying about low-level details. The library also provides features such as compile-time verification of SQL queries, database migrations, and support for reactive programming using LiveData and RxJava.

5. Glide

It is a fast and efficient image-loading and caching library for Android applications. Glide uses less memory space and performs better than the other image-loading libraries. This Kotlin library has impressive features like resizing, cropping, and transforming images. It can load images from various sources, including local storage, network, or even any pre-loaded image. Glide offers many customization options, allowing developers to integrate it easily with their existing Android apps. 

6. KTX

KTX is a Kotlin extension library providing convenient functions and utilities for Android app development. This library enhances the ease of use and readability of Android code with fewer lines of code. It is designed to reduce boilerplate code with an easy-to-use syntax and supports extensions for Android architecture components. KTX also simplifies operations with collections and resources by providing concise APIs. 


To sum up, Kotlin has become a popular choice for mobile app development, and the availability of various libraries and frameworks has made it even more attractive for developers. 

If you are planning to develop an Android app and you don’t have technical knowledge, then you need to hire kotlin developers. They will use Kotlin libraries and frameworks to make your app development process easier and more efficient. 

The libraries and frameworks discussed in this article are just a few examples of the many available options. Choosing the right library or framework depends mainly on the specific needs of your project, but with the right tools at your disposal, you can create amazing apps with Kotlin.

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