4 Best Android Libraries for Lazy Image Loading

Images drive user experience. People are said to be highly visual creatures. This is why face-to-face communication is often broken into three elements—7% spoken words, 38% voice and tone, and 55% body language—according to Albert Mehrabian’s 7-38-55 rule of personal communication. 

We perceive the world mainly through our eyesight, picking up fewer signals from the rest of the senses. As entire global economies continue to digitize their products and services, and consumers adopt more technologies into their lives, images become a crucial component in the development cycle. 

Technology users demand a seamless user experience. Ensuring that apps can do fast and efficient image loading is not only an essential part of the development cycle, but a sacred promise to consumers. An app that fails to load an image blurs or distorts the user’s ability to perceive—and possibly use—the application.

Traditionally, to ensure fast image loading, developers had to write a lot of code, and handle any problem manually. Nowadays, developers can use lazy image loading to save time while increasing loading speed. Read on to learn how lazy image loading can help free up your time, and which image libraries are best suited to Android.

What Is Image Loading?

Image loading is the process of programming your application or website to load remote images in a fast and efficient manner. 

While some Android apps store images locally, most apps are required to load images remotely on a regular basis. To enable this capability, developers usually need to manually configure the following tasks:

Traditionally, you’d need to write the code for the entire image loading process, including the above tasks and any additional client requirements. If you would rather skip some or all of the stages in this process, tray the lazy image loading approach.

What Is Lazy Image Loading?

In today’s agile-centric landscape, many developers find themselves pressed between the need to increase their work speed and the demand for producing quality work. When efficiency becomes a top priority, delegating manual work to the machine can help save a lot of time. 

Lazy image loading means delegating image loading tasks to a ready-made program. You don’t need to write the entire code. Once you set up the library, it’ll take care of the process for you by initiating an asynchronous load/download process. The library runs in the background, so you won’t have to worry about interruptions to the user experience.

Be sure to choose an image loading libraries that suit your needs. While the libraries were designed for the same purpose, they don’t necessarily offer the same functionalities.

What Is the Difference Between Image Lazy Loading and Digital Asset Management?

Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions provide a suite of tools for managing digital assets. Some DAM tools offer management for rich media only, while other solutions are designed to handle all media formats. The offered management features vary from one solution to another, but most include image loading in their image management suite. 

While image loading libraries take care only of the loading aspect of managing image assets, image loading is only one feature in the larger scale of a digital asset management solution.

Best Android Libraries for Lazy Image Loading

Glide is an open source media management and image loading library for Android. It’s a great fit for developers looking for an intuitive user experience. Here’s a use case for loading an image using Glide.

Glide offers the following features:

Why you should use Glide


Picasso is an open source image downloading and caching library, designed to automatically handle image loading on Android. You can find several use cases for loading an image from a URL instead of loading it from cache using Picasso.

Picasso offers the following features:

Why you should use Picasso


Fresco is an open source image management library for Android, built for automatic loading and processing at a big scale. Code snippet examples for Frensco are abundant. You can find a few good Fresco examples here.

Fresco offers the following features:

Why you should use Fresco

Universal Image Loader (UIL)

Universal Image Loader (UIL) is an open source image loading library for Android, popular due to its robust configuration options. Just like our other libraries on the list, UIL also has some great code snippet examples available on our code library.

UIL offers the following features:

Why you should use UIL

Which Image Loading Library Is Best for You?

Most tools aren’t divided into good or bad categories. Each tool has distinct features that might suit your needs. In our dynamic world, you’ll find that many tools become obsolete faster than you can learn how to use them. 

It’s important to choose tools that are actively maintained and updated, so you’ll be able to maintain stability in your workflows. If a tool is actively maintained, there’s a good chance that more features will be offered as the community continuously works to improve the code. Active open source communities often stand as the pillars of development and progress.

Published on Java Code Geeks with permission by Ilana Brudo, partner at our JCG program. See the original article here: 4 Best Android Libraries for Lazy Image Loading

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