Android development has skyrocketed in popularity within the last decade. Android devices are dominating the mobile market, and with Kotlin recently launched, mobile developers have amazing tools at their disposal for building beautiful and performant apps. In this article, we’re listing the best free Android app templates of 2021, to help you speed up your projects.
Using a beautiful Kotlin starter kit will not only save you many hours of design and development, but it will also provide you with a high-quality Material design kit, that will speed up app development. Getting a head start in your project by using an Android app template, fully coded in Kotlin, will allow you to focus on what makes your app unique, rather than working on features that have been implemented already. In our list, we’ve included only open-source Android projects, that are following Material design guidelines, and that are coded in Kotlin, the new cool kid in town.
Without further ado, let’s see what are the best free Android app templates available as of 2021, that you can use to bootstrap your Android app.
With 2400 Github stars, CoCoin is one of the most popular free Android app templates available. It is the best Kotlin starter kit if you’re looking to build (or learn how to build) a finance app. It supports integration with a wide range of chart types, which makes it a perfect fit for any financial/banking mobile app for Android.
For those of you interested in building an accounting/investment app, make sure you check out this open-source Android Studio project first. By using a complex app template such as this one, you cut down on the boilerplate code needed to get your app off the ground, and therefore you get to save a lot of time and energy, while also building a high-quality mobile app.
2. SMS Messenger
Also known as QKSms, this Android chat app template is one of the best free Android app templates you can find in the open-source marketplace. With 2400+ Github stars, their goal is to provide Android developers with the best messaging experience for mobile.
Next time you’re working on a chat app client for Android, use this open-source project as inspiration. Unfortunately, QKSms is still written in Java entirely, so here’s a good idea for a new Kotlin UI Kit for messaging, which we weren’t able to find just yet.
If you’re looking for a premium Android app template, that is also integrated with a backend system, you can check out this beautiful Chat App Template. It is not free, but hey, you get a ton of value out of the box.
TimberX is a functional material theme music player, that is supported across all form factors: phones, wear, auto, cast, and assistant. With a beautiful design, this project is a great Kotlin starter kit for someone looking to start their journey with Android app development. It is one of the most complete free Android app templates and it comes in handy to anyone building a music app, such as a Spotify or Apple Music clone. If you are indeed creating a music player app, make sure you check out multiple Kotlin projects that have similar UI and behavior, to find the best fit. For example, this Simple Music Player might also be something of interest. If you’re looking for something more colorful, you might like this open-source music player better.
In addition to its attractive UI elements, it is also a great boilerplate Kotlin project, given it uses modern app development tools such as Architecture Components, Room and Databinding. And as this is not enough, it also works with Google Assistant, for playing, resuming and pausing songs. Pretty cool, right? Download the source code and run it in Android Studio. Use it for inspiration for your next Kotlin app project.
Aesthetic is a dynamic theme engine powered by Rx and Kotlin, to help developers build Android apps more quickly. Aesthetic is a great way to achieve theming in Android apps, such as supporting multiple sets of colors, such as light and dark mode. It also provides Android developers with a wide range of Material UI components, fully coded in Kotlin. To name a few: snack bars, card views, tab layouts, navigation views, tab bars, swipe layouts, etc.
This dynamic theme engineer is fast and easy to use. With more than 2000 stars on Github, you should at least check out the demo APK to understand practically what Aesthetic really offers.
If you’re looking to adopt a theming engine into your Android Studio project, we also recommend you checking out Cyanea which achieves the same job.
Twidere is an open-source Twitter client written in Kotlin, for Android. In fact, you can download the official app from the Google Play Store. It has some great features, that makes it stand out from the official Twitter app, such as the lack of ads, multi-account management, dark mode, data sync with Google Drive and Dropbox, etc.
This free Android app template is one of the best Kotlin starter kits, for someone looking to learn Android app development. It also contains the integration with Twitter’s official API, so it is, in fact, a fully fledged Android app. You should definitely clone the repository and run the app locally, to learn about Kotlin and best practices in Android app development. This is one of the best Kotlin app example you can currently find out there.
6. Material Dialogs
Material Dialogs is stunning, fluid and extensible API for dialogs, written in Kotlin, to make it easier for developers to integrated dialogs into their Android apps. With more than 16.000 Github stars, this open-source Kotlin project is one of the most popular free Android app templates, currently available on the marketplace.
The project has an amazing set of features, such as File Picker, Input Dialogs, Calendar Date Picker, Bottom Sheet / Drawer, Color Picker, and Time Pickers.
You should absolutely integrate this Kotlin open-source project into all of your Android apps. It will save you a ton of time, and it’ll provide great user experience, given its beautiful Material design kit. Don’t bother to invent your own components, given the open-source community already did this for you. Material Dialogs comes under Apache License 2.0.
7. Material Drawer Kit
Material Drawer Kit is a popular open-source Kotlin project, that provides the user interface for regular sidebar navigation. With more than 450 stars on Github, you can use this app template as the boilerplate code to bootstrap your next Android mobile app. You get a ton of UI components, such as switches, toggle headers, dynamic image menu items, expandables, etc. In their own words:
Create navigation drawers in your Activities and Fragments without having to write any XML, in pure Kotlin code, with access to all the features of the original library: all sorts of menu items, badges, account headers, and more.
If your next app requires a fairly complex navigation drawer, with advanced UI menu items, this Android app template is the perfect starter kit.
Conclusion on Best Free Android App Templates
As you can see, there are several free Android app templates out there, that can be used to bootstrap mobile app development for Android. Unfortunately, there are not as many options as there are for the other ecosystems, such as Swift or React Native, and that’s partly due to the fact that Kotlin is fairly new.
Keep an eye on what’s coming next in terms of Material Design Templates in Kotlin, since we, at Instakotlin, are taking a huge bet on this ecosystem improving in popularity within the next couple of years. Android development is huge, and right now it is still pretty expensive, so this is a big pain point for developers and entrepreneurs looking to start their own Android apps.