Creating JAR Libraries for Android: From Scratch (Part 2)

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Creating JAR Libraries for Android: From Scratch (Part 2)


In the first part of our series, we embarked on the explorative journey of understanding the pivotal role of dependencies in Android development, laying a strong foundation on the necessity and benefits of creating libraries. As we venture into the second part, we are geared up to take a step further — diving into the practical realm of creating and testing a simple library in Android. This segment promises to be a hands-on guide, steering you meticulously through the nuances of library creation, and setting you on the path to enhancing the efficiency and functionality of your Android projects.

You can find the code to this section here

The idea

We know that there are two types of libraries that we can create for Android apps i.e pure Java libraries (JAR) and android libraries(AAR). Let's go ahead and first try to create a simple Java library that will do basic calculations like add, subtract, and multiply.

Step 1

Create a new project, and inside that project go to file and create a new module.

Step 2

Now, select Java/Kotlin library as the module type, and name the module whatever you'd like the library to be called, I've named it as calculator

Step 3

Let's add the following code to our MyCalculator class

class MyCalculator {

    fun addNumbers(a: Int, b: Int): Int{
        return a+b

    fun subtractNumbers(a: Int, b: Int): Int{
        return a-b

    fun multiplyNumbers(a: Int, b: Int): Int{
        return a*b

Step 4

Now, let's go ahead and build our project and check what the build generates as output.

If everything worked perfectly, you should now be able to see a JAR file created in the output build/libs folder (change the view to Project from Android).

Step 5

At this point, there are 2 ways to use this jar file in our project.

  1. Manually transferring the JAR file to the new project

    The first method is to simply copy this file and paste it inside the libs folder of any app and then import it from the dependencies section as shown below.

    While this method works, it will still be cumbersome to create a library for every change and then paste it into our project every time we make a change. A second method is to use a hosted service like which remotely builds and stores these JAR/AAR files and provides it to our app when needed.

  2. Using for our project.

    To implement this, we need to create a GitHub repo and push our code first. Since this step is relatively straightforward, I won't be adding the steps to it. If you are not familiar with this step, consider checking any online tutorial or ChatGPT.

    Now, we need to create a release on Git Hub. To do this, click on the tags tab on the repo home screen

    Then go to Releases and click on draft a new release

    At this point, you can give any random version name to your project, but it'd be better if you followed the standard conventions of versioning. Now, add any other details like release changelogs or titles and hit publish release

    1. Go to

      Now, all you need to do is add the link to your repository into the search bar and hit enter.

      Here, you should now be able to see the version details of the newly added release.

    2. Adding the JitPack repository to your build file.

      NOTE: Add the following changes in a new repository that does not have any reference to calculator library at all, DO NOT MAKE THESE CHANGES IN THE SAME REPO WHERE YOU ARE CREATING THE LIBRARIES.

       dependencyResolutionManagement {
           repositories {
               maven { url '' } //make sure this is present in the file

      Make sure that a reference to the link is available under dependencyResolutionManagement .

    3. Now add the dependency to the app.gradle file as shown on the website and sync everything.

       dependencies {
       //other dependencies
       implementation 'com.github.zuhayr123.From-Scratch:calculator:v1.0.2'

And that's it!

You should now be able to use the MyCalculator class anywhere in your project as shown below

class MainActivity : AppCompatActivity() {
    var TAG = this.javaClass.canonicalName
    override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
        var result = MyCalculator().addNumbers(1,1)

Okay, now that we have a basic JAR library implemented, let's try to add a Toast to this library that will be called whenever we call one of its methods. To do this we need to pass context from our MainActivity to the MyCalculator class as follows.

import android.content.Context

class MyCalculator(context: Context) {

    //rest of the code here to generate the toast

But, you must have noticed that now we are not able to access any Android-based classes in our calculator library!

This is because calculator is a pure Java library that is not supposed to have any references to Android-specific classes.

This is where Android Libraries or AARs come into play, Using AARs we can create libraries that have references to even Android-specific classes like Context.


In today's post, we saw how we can create, use, and host pure Java libraries in Android. In our next post, we'll explore how and when we should consider creating an Android Library instead of a simple Java library.

Till then, happy coding!