Top 5 Image Loading Libraries in Android

Android is an operating system which is built basically for Mobile phones. It is based on the Linux Kernel and other open-source software and is developed by Google. It is used for touchscreen mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. But nowadays these are utilized in Android Auto cars, TV, watches, camera, etc. Android has been one of the best-selling OS for smartphones. Android OS was developed by Android Inc. which Google bought in 2005. Today, Android remains to dominate on a global scale. Approximately 75% of the world population prefers using Android as against the 15% of iOS. It is an operating system that has a huge market for apps.

Top-5-Image-Loading-Libraries-in-Android

Working with images in Android is one of the inevitable parts of android application development. The image may be from the local storage or from the internet, loading images into views need to be effective so as fewer resources are being used. One of the most basic tasks for every developer is to know how to display an image in the mobile application. Generally, website developers don’t require to take care of image loading and caching because the browser does this automatically, but for an android developer, an image will be frequently loaded again and again without really good performance. If one is willing to display efficiently images on the application, he/she needs to take care of the image caching. So in this article let’s discuss the top 5 image loading libraries in Android.

1. Picasso

Picasso is an open-source and one of the widely used image downloaders libraries in Android. It is created and maintained by Square. It is one of the powerful image downloads and caching library in Android. Picasso simplifies the process of loading images from external URLs and displays on the application. For example, downloading an image from the server is one of the most common tasks in any application. And it needs quite a larger amount of code to achieve this via android networking APIs. By using Picasso, one can achieve this with a few lines of code.

Picasso Dependency: For using Picasso in the android project add the dependency in the Gradle file. So, For adding dependency open app -> build.gradle file in the app folder in the Android project and add the following lines inside it.



compile ‘com.squareup.picasso:picasso:2.5.2’

Now sync your Gradle once again. If you get any type of error then you may check the error on StackOverflow.

2. Glide

Glide is similar to Picasso and can load and display images from many sources, while also taking care of caching and keeping a low memory impact when doing image manipulations. Official Google apps are also using Glide. Glide is an Image Loader Library in Android developed by bumptech and is a library that is backed by Google. It has been utilized in many Google open source projects including Google I/O 2014 official application. It renders animated GIF support and handles image loading/caching.

Glide Dependency: For using Glide in the android project add the dependency in the Gradle file. So, For adding dependency open app -> build.gradle file in the app folder in the Android project and add the following lines inside it.

compile ‘com.github.bumptech.glide:glide:3.5.2’

compile ‘com.android.support:support-v4:22.0.0’

Now sync your Gradle once again. If you get any type of error then you may check the error on stackoverflow.

Picasso vs Glide: The main difference between Glide and Picasso is caching. Let’s see how both react. If one loads an image with different sizes on different screens. For example, a profile picture can be smaller on top of all screens but bigger in the profile section. 



  • If one loads it with Glide, it keeps 2 copies of the same image with different sizes.
  • Picasso keeps only one max size of the image and renders it on run time.

3. Fresco

Fresco is a powerful image loading library for displaying images in Android applications. Fresco supports Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and later. This powerful library developed by the good folks at Facebook. It loads images from the internet, local storage, and display a placeholder until the image has appeared. One of the prominent features of Fresco is that it uses both Main memory and storage memory for caching which enhances the performance of the application.

Fresco Dependency: For using Fresco in the android project add the dependency in the Gradle file. So, For adding dependency open app -> build.gradle file in the app folder in the Android project and add the following lines inside it.

implementation ‘com.facebook.fresco:fresco:2.3.0’

4. COIL (Coroutine Image Loader)

COIL is an image loading library for Android supported by Kotlin Coroutines. COIL is fast and performs a number of optimizations including memory and disk caching, downsampling the image in memory, re-using bitmaps, automatically pausing/canceling requests, and more. It’s lightweight and adds ~2000 methods to the APK which is similar to Picasso and significantly less than Glide and Fresco. It’s easy to use. The COIL is Kotlin-first and utilizes modern libraries including Coroutines, OkHttp, Okio, and AndroidX Lifecycles.

COIL Dependency: For using COIL in the android project add the dependency in the Gradle file. So, For adding dependency open app -> build.gradle file in the app folder in the Android project and add the following lines inside it. It’s available on mavenCentral().

implementation(“io.coil-kt:coil:0.13.0”)

5. UIL (Universal Image Loader)

UIL is the great ancestor of modern image-loading libraries. UIL aims to render a robust, adaptable, and highly customizable instrument for image loading, caching, and displaying. It renders a lot of configuration options and excellent control over the image loading and caching process. The main features are Multi-thread image loading, Wide customization of ImageLoader’s configuration, Image caching in memory and/or on disk, Listening loading process, etc. It supports Android 4.1+.|

UIL Dependency: For using UIL in the android project add the dependency in the Gradle file. So, For adding dependency open app -> build.gradle file in the app folder in the Android project and add the following lines inside it.

implementation ‘com.nostra13.universalimageloader:universal-image-loader:1.9.5’




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Technical Content Engineer at GeeksForGeeks

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