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Airbnb introduces Lottie, a tool to help developers add animations to apps

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Animated hearts everywhere!

When it’s not busy trying to take over the travel industry, Airbnb engineers appear to be spending time on side projects to assist fellow developers. Today, the team launched Lottie, an open-source tool that helps add animations to native apps.

Lottie is an iOS, Android, and React Native library that renders After Effects animations in real time. “Lottie allows engineers to build richer animations without the painstaking overhead of re-writing them,” the team wrote in a blog post. “With Lottie, digging through frameworks for reference, guessing durations, manually creating Bézier curves, and re-making animations with nothing more than a GIF for reference will be a thing of the past.”

Currently, it supports trim paths, dash patterns, masks, mattes, and more. It also has an optional caching mechanism, so frequently used animations such as a heart when liking something, can load faster. The goal is to help developers and animators easily integrate animations into their apps to increase engagement or overall up the interactive factor. So don’t be surprised if you begin seeing more animations in general on Airbnb’s own app.

Lottie is similar to other libraries like Facebook’s Keyframes, which was introduced publicly after the social network launched reactions, but Airbnb engineers say it appears the teams built these separate projects in parallel. Still, the team hopes Lottie gives developers more flexibility should they want to experiment with app animations.