Skip to main content

Airbnb’s Lottie helps fellow developers add animations to their apps

airbnb engineers lottie
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Airbnb might be best known for short-term rentals, but its engineers also created Lottie, which could be a handy tool for developers who want to incorporate fancy-looking animations to their native apps.

Created by Airbnb engineers as a side project, Lottie lets developers incorporate After Effects animations in real time without the need to rewrite them. At the time of this writing, Lottie supports masks, alpha mattes, trim paths, solids, and dash patterns, with more being added “on a regular basis.” There is also an optional caching mechanism that allows frequently used animations to load faster.

“Lottie allows engineers to build richer animations without the painstaking overhead of rewriting them,” wrote the team in a blog post. “With Lottie, digging through frameworks for reference, guessing durations, manually creating Bézier curves, and remaking animations with nothing more than a GIF for reference will be a thing of the past.”

The end result are animations that are visually pleasing and have a sense of life and energy to them, factors which Airbnb engineers hope will lead to increased engagement or interactivity for developers’ apps. You might even see Airbnb incorporate Lottie into its own app, so do not be surprised if you see more animations with a future update.

Airbnb engineers did recognize that other libraries similar to Lottie already exist, such as Facebook’s Keyframes and Marcus Eckert’s Squall. With Keyframes, though, Facebook picked a small set of After Effect features to support for its reactions, while Airbnb engineers want to incorporate as many features as possible within Lottie. Squall, meanwhile, is used in combination with Lottie, but the former only supports iOS, and Airbnb engineers wanted Lottie to be cross-platform.

Lottie is currently available for iOS, Android, and React Native.

Editors' Recommendations

Williams Pelegrin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Williams is an avid New York Yankees fan, speaks Spanish, resides in Colorado, and has an affinity for Frosted Flakes. Send…
Google Play Store helps find the apps invading your privacy
Instagram app on the Google Play Store on an Android smartphone.

Google has implemented a feature that requires app makers to disclose what data their apps are taking from users. Starting today, Android users will be able to see specific information about their apps' data collection through the Google Play Store. The data is accessible in the Play Store via the "Data Safety" tab listed in the information section for all apps.

With Google's announcement that the feature's rollout is live, the company notes that not all apps will be showing what privacy data they collect immediately. App makers have until July 20, 2022, to provide the Play Store with privacy information, making the feature something of a gradual rollout. It's likely that apps that take more types of data (like social media apps) will take longer to post the required info due to the sheer number of data points they collect when compared to something simpler such as an offline game.

Read more
Google Play is helping developers meet gamers where they are
Image of Google Play game running on a Windows PC.

Google Play is setting the stage for a big year of growth in mobile and cross-platform gaming, with several new initiatives to help and encourage developers to build even more exciting and engaging gaming experiences.

The increased power of modern smartphones as gaming powerhouses has allowed for the creation of more sophisticated mobile games, many of which can easily be called “console-quality.” However, this has also given rise to more demand from players to be able to enjoy these gaming experiences on a larger screen.

Read more
Google adds more iMessage features to Android’s Messages app
Google Pixel 6 Pro wallpaper.

Google is upgrading Android's default messages app with support for iMessage reactions and enhanced media sharing as it tries to lure over customers from Apple's iPhones over to Pixels and other Android phones. The new updates are rolling out this week to the U.S. and some worldwide countries.

The biggest change Google is bringing here is support for iMessage reactions, or tapbacks. While Google supports reactions between Android phones, and iPhones support reactions between iPhones, this is the first time both are being cross-compatible -- kind of. iPhone users will now have their tapbacks converted to emoji on Android phones, but Android users will still remain unable to send reactions to iPhones. This does mean an end to "Laughed at," style messages, for Android users at least.

Read more