Best Android ImageLoaders – 2021

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We are in the year 2021 and we do have several options to load images from online, filesystem or in-app resources. In this tutorial let's look at some options for loading images in android using third party libraries.

  • (a). Glide


Maven Central Build Status | View Glide's documentation | 简体中文文档 | Report an issue with Glide

Glide is a fast and efficient open source media management and image loading framework for Android that wraps media decoding, memory and disk caching, and resource pooling into a simple and easy to use interface.

Glide supports fetching, decoding, and displaying video stills, images, and animated GIFs. Glide includes a flexible API that allows developers to plug in to almost any network stack. By default Glide uses a custom HttpUrlConnection based stack, but also includes utility libraries plug in to Google's Volley project or Square's OkHttp library instead.

Glide's primary focus is on making scrolling any kind of a list of images as smooth and fast as possible, but Glide is also effective for almost any case where you need to fetch, resize, and display a remote image.


For detailed instructions and requirements, see Glide's download and setup docs page.

You can download a jar from GitHub's releases page.

Or use Gradle:

repositories {

dependencies {
  implementation 'com.github.bumptech.glide:glide:4.12.0'
  annotationProcessor 'com.github.bumptech.glide:compiler:4.12.0'

Or Maven:


For info on using the bleeding edge, see the Snapshots docs page.


Depending on your ProGuard (DexGuard) config and usage, you may need to include the following lines in your proguard.cfg (see the Download and Setup docs page for more details):

-keep public class * implements com.bumptech.glide.module.GlideModule
-keep class * extends com.bumptech.glide.module.AppGlideModule {
-keep public enum com.bumptech.glide.load.ImageHeaderParser$** {
  **[] $VALUES;
  public *;
-keep class$InternalRewinder {
  *** rewind();

# for DexGuard only
-keepresourcexmlelements manifest/application/meta-data@value=GlideModule

How do I use Glide?

Check out the documentation for pages on a variety of topics, and see the javadocs.

For Glide v3, see the wiki.

Simple use cases will look something like this:

// For a simple view:
@Override public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
  ImageView imageView = (ImageView) findViewById(;


// For a simple image list:
@Override public View getView(int position, View recycled, ViewGroup container) {
  final ImageView myImageView;
  if (recycled == null) {
    myImageView = (ImageView) inflater.inflate(R.layout.my_image_view, container, false);
  } else {
    myImageView = (ImageView) recycled;

  String url = myUrls.get(position);


  return myImageView;


Version 4 is now released and stable. Updates are released periodically with new features and bug fixes.

Comments/bugs/questions/pull requests are always welcome! Please read on how to report issues.


  • Minimum Android SDK: Glide v4 requires a minimum API level of 14.
  • Compile Android SDK: Glide v4 requires you to compile against API 26 or later.

If you need to support older versions of Android, consider staying on Glide v3, which works on API 10, but is not actively maintained.

  • OkHttp 3.x: There is an optional dependency available called okhttp3-integration, see the docs page.
  • Volley: There is an optional dependency available called volley-integration, see the docs page.
  • Round Pictures: CircleImageView/CircularImageView/RoundedImageView are known to have issues with TransitionDrawable (.crossFade() with .thumbnail() or .placeholder()) and animated GIFs, use a BitmapTransformation (.circleCrop() will be available in v4) or .dontAnimate() to fix the issue.
  • Huge Images (maps, comic strips): Glide can load huge images by downsampling them, but does not support zooming and panning ImageViews as they require special resource optimizations (such as tiling) to work without OutOfMemoryErrors.


Building Glide with gradle is fairly straight forward:

git clone
cd glide
./gradlew jar

Note: Make sure your Android SDK has the Android Support Repository installed, and that your $ANDROID_HOME environment variable is pointing at the SDK or add a file in the root project with a sdk.dir=... line.


Follow the steps in the Build section to set up the project and then:

./gradlew :samples:flickr:run
./gradlew :samples:giphy:run
./gradlew :samples:svg:run
./gradlew :samples:contacturi:run

You may also find precompiled APKs on the releases page.


Follow the steps in the Build section to setup the project and then edit the files however you wish. Android Studio cleanly imports both Glide's source and tests and is the recommended way to work with Glide.

To open the project in Android Studio:

  1. Go to File menu or the Welcome Screen
  2. Click on Open...
  3. Navigate to Glide's root directory.
  4. Select setting.gradle

For more details, see the Contributing docs page.

Getting Help

To report a specific problem or feature request, open a new issue on Github. For questions, suggestions, or anything else, email Glide's discussion group, or join our IRC channel:


Before submitting pull requests, contributors must sign Google's individual contributor license agreement.



Sam Judd - @sjudd on GitHub, @samajudd on Twitter


BSD, part MIT and Apache 2.0. See the LICENSE file for details.


This is not an official Google product.


  • (b). Coil


An image loading library for Android backed by Kotlin Coroutines. Coil is:

  • Fast: Coil performs a number of optimizations including memory and disk caching, downsampling the image in memory, re-using bitmaps, automatically pausing/cancelling requests, and more.
  • Lightweight: Coil adds ~2000 methods to your APK (for apps that already use OkHttp and Coroutines), which is comparable to Picasso and significantly less than Glide and Fresco.
  • Easy to use: Coil's API leverages Kotlin's language features for simplicity and minimal boilerplate.
  • Modern: Coil is Kotlin-first and uses modern libraries including Coroutines, OkHttp, Okio, and AndroidX Lifecycles.

Coil is an acronym for: Coroutine Image Loader.

Made with ❤️ at Instacart. Translations: 한국어, 中文


Coil is available on mavenCentral().


Quick Start

To load an image into an ImageView, use the load extension function:

// URL

// Resource

// File

// And more...

Requests can be configured with an optional trailing lambda:

imageView.load("") {

Image Loaders

imageView.load uses the singleton ImageLoader to enqueue an ImageRequest. The singleton ImageLoader can be accessed using an extension function:

val imageLoader = context.imageLoader

Optionally, you can create your own ImageLoader instance(s) and inject them with dependency injection:

val imageLoader = ImageLoader(context)

If you do not want the singleton ImageLoader, depend on io.coil-kt:coil-base.


To load an image into a custom target, enqueue an ImageRequest:

val request = ImageRequest.Builder(context)
    .target { drawable ->
        // Handle the result.
val disposable = imageLoader.enqueue(request)

To load an image imperatively, execute an ImageRequest:

val request = ImageRequest.Builder(context)
val drawable = imageLoader.execute(request).drawable

Check out Coil's full documentation here.


R8 / Proguard

Coil is fully compatible with R8 out of the box and doesn't require adding any extra rules.

If you use Proguard, you may need to add rules for Coroutines, OkHttp and Okio.


Copyright 2021 Coil Contributors

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.

  • (c). Picasso


A powerful image downloading and caching library for Android

For more information please see the website


Download the latest AAR from Maven Central or grab via Gradle:

implementation 'com.squareup.picasso:picasso:2.71828'

or Maven:


Snapshots of the development version are available in Sonatype's snapshots repository.


If you are using ProGuard you might need to add OkHttp's rules:


Copyright 2013 Square, Inc.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.



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