25 May, 2022
Build chat app for android

Android Chat App Tutorial: Building A Real-time Messaging App

Are you interested in building your messaging app for android? Facing confusion with technical scenarios revolving around!No worries! I will get you everything you need – Of course, the coolest and simplest approach you ever need.

Here, I have a complete blueprint for you to build chat app for android device with a detailed tutorial.So, with no delay let’s have a walk through over the entire development journey – starting from features to the tech stacks, let’s explore!

Key Features of an Android Chat App 

If you ever thought of doing market research, you can find many real-time chat apps with a list of various features, and of course, some of them may stand out too. 

But, do you know that every android chat app will have certain ground-level key features to build an app’s foundation. If not, let’s have a look and learn about some here

  1. One-to-one Private Chat – Enables the user to get connected with another specific user instantly
  2. Group Chat – Get the user to create a private or public group of like-minded people around the world to have real-time conversation.
  3. Video & Conferencing Calling – Permits the user to make peer-to-peer HD video calling across multiple platforms. In addition, user can also connect with upto 5 users at once via group or video conference calling and have uninterrupted interaction with crystal clear quality.
  4. Voice & Conferencing Calling – Users can make calls instantly and get connected with another user across the world. If needed can go for voice conference calling and get connected with multiple users at once.
  5. Data Transfer – Let the user share their data including voice/video files, documents, GIF files, images, etc., to another user privately or publicly.
  6. Video/Voice Call Recording – Get the user to record each and every conversation that took place during the video/voice calling session. The user can later compose these recording with required edits and store them in the cloud for future reference.
  7. Tabbed Text Messages – You can alter any number of chats i.e., if needed you can combine multiple text messages into a single one.
  8. Animated GIF files – Gets you have more interactive and meaningful conversation with an open option of reactions, emojis and animated GIFs.
  9. Language Translation – Let the user to translate their conversation into any language of their choice within the chat screen.
  10. Multiple-platform Calling – User can make global calls across any platform like iOS, Android or web app anytime.

Now, after getting some idea about these key features, you have to decide the main thing of the entire process as whether you have to build your chat app from scratch or want to make use of ready-made APIs and SDKs, to make the process simple and easy.

Planning to Build an Android Chat App – Make a Choice! “Readymade Vs Custom”

Whenever you are planning to build your android chat app, the first foremost question that crosses your mind could be the investment; the next would be the timeframe. Since, both of these factors can affect any business, it’s better to have a clear idea about the approach – Whether to go for a Ready-made chat APIs and SDKs or build something from scratch. Let’s do some research in detail for better understanding.

1. Ready-made APIs and SDKs

When it comes to ready-made APIs and SDKs or say a white label chat solution, you can be very clear to have a quick market launch at your budget. Yes, these are the in-build features and functionalities that will work immediately once integrated into any third party device.

But, still if you look for a drawback then each of these ready-made APIs can get you the functionalities of a specific feature alone i.e., if you need another feature in the future then you have to go for another API with that particular functionality. But, these solution providers do allow the open hosting options, mostly for both on your cloud and on their cloud/premises depending upon your business demands.

However, with custom solutions or where you have to build something from scratch, you have to do some pre-planning. Let’s have a brief look below

2. Steps To Build Custom Solution

  • Research your platform – Make a complete study on your required platform as whether it’s Android or iOS?
  • Aim of your app – Who are the targeted audience? This information identifies the need of features that needs to be installed in the application
  • Check for MVP (minimum viable product) – Make a note on how these MVP look like with features, and more.
  • Required timeframe to Build an application – This is the core step as here you have to be clear with the idea of all your requirements like the development team – in-house or remote, if so then hiring process, or whether there will be a support team at your reach, etc.

Now, after getting a brief idea about these ready-made solutions and building from scratch, let’s get into some more detailed study of how to build these chat apps using the modern programming languages of Kotlin or Java.

 
Do you want to create android chat app with 150+ Chat Features!

7 Key Steps to Build An Android Chat App Using Kotlin Or Java

However, to understand the technical background as to how this android chat app’s development works, it’s highly essential to know what are the steps involved while planning to build an android chat app.

Let’s have a look for better understanding,

  1. The core step is to open an android studio, this is so as every programming language starts over with its technical foundation of platforms or studios
  2. Time to decide on which programming language to use for your chat app development. Most often Kotlin is considered over Java for its simple user-friendly attributes with lesser need for codings.

Once the decision has been made it’s time for the in-depth article. Yes! Here, I have divided the tutorial section into two parts. 

The first part talks about the initializing and login stuff, where the display, selection and creation of the channel is involved. The second part talks about the technical details of the features with codes and more.

On the whole, both these parts will cover the entire process of building an android chat app

So, now having all these above details in mind let’s get to know how it works with CONTUS MirrorFly with a further detailed tutorial section.

How to Build an Android Chat App Using MirrorFly SDK in Android Studio!

Where app and web development moves together to build a strong foundation in communication, CONTUS MirrorFly too works with multiple collaboration of chat, voice and video calling features that supports in building the best chat app for android.

Since MirrorFly understands the needs of their clients it has made a compatible platform available, wherein it’s messaging APIs and SDKs can be easily integrated into any pre-built devices like iOS, Android and web app, with minimal efforts. 

The same way when it’s about the server-end, CONTUS MirrorFly mainly focuses on reliability within the application. Thus, it allows the space for server setup-related documents with an easy download option from the control panel’s download section.

This in further run, with the initialization page provides the chat SDK’s with structure and installation procedure. After which the implementation process is carried over. 

So moving further, let’s have a walk through with a detailed tutorial session that can help you to build your own android chat app.

Requirements to Build Chat Application Android

The utmost minimal requirement you need for your Chat SDK for Android is as follows,

  • Android Lollipop 5.0 (API Level 21)
  • Java 7 or higher
  • Gradle 4.1.0 or higher

SDK License Key

Authentication of SDK is the core process of initialization, where the CONTUS MirrorFly performs at it’s server end using the License key. Moreover, to be very assured you can make use of this license key in your dashboard too while generating an account.

Everything is fine, but do keep in mind that these master API tokens can never be revoked or changed once done with the process. 

MirrorFly Chat SDK Installation into Your Android Chat App

Installation process is the basic one to start with but before that you have to make sure that whether the SDKs have already been compiled into an AAR file or not? This is because, if you want to use the SDKs then the below AAR files need to be imported into the project. Although, you need the support of Kotlin for messaging SDKs to proceed further in the project.

Step 1 – To begin with you have to download the latest SDK from CONTUS MirrorFly Control Panel Download’s section

Step 2 – Time to extract the required file from the download zip folder

Step 3 – Now, create a new android project and assign a name

Step 4 – Do add the libraries into the apps/libs folder available in the project,


appbase.aar
flycommons.aar
flynetwork.aar
flydatabase.aar
compression.aar
xmpp.aar

Step 5 – Add the below given dependencies in App/Build.Gradle file

implementation files('libs/appbase.aar')
implementation files('libs/flycommons.aar')
implementation files('libs/flynetwork.aar')
implementation files('libs/flydatabase.aar')
implementation files('libs/compression.aar')
implementation files('libs/xmpp.aar')

Step 6 – Add the below statements of dependencies by the SDK in App/Build.Gradle

//For lifecycle listener
implementation 'android.arch.lifecycle:extensions:1.1.1'
annotationProcessor 'android.arch.lifecycle:compiler:1.1.1'

//For GreenDao
implementation 'de.greenrobot:greendao:2.1.0'

//For gson parsing
implementation 'com.google.code.gson:gson:2.8.1'

//for smack implementation
implementation 'org.igniterealtime.smack:smack-android:4.2.4'
implementation 'org.igniterealtime.smack:smack-tcp:4.2.4'
implementation 'org.igniterealtime.smack:smack-im:4.2.4'
implementation 'org.igniterealtime.smack:smack-extensions:4.2.4'
implementation 'org.igniterealtime.smack:smack-sasl-provided:4.2.4'

implementation 'androidx.localbroadcastmanager:localbroadcastmanager:1.0.0'
implementation 'androidx.multidex:multidex:2.0.1'
implementation 'com.google.android.gms:play-services-location:17.0.0'

implementation 'com.facebook.stetho:stetho:1.3.1'
implementation 'com.hypertrack:hyperlog:0.0.10'

//for mobile number formatting
implementation 'io.michaelrocks:libphonenumber-android:8.9.14'

//Dagger Dependencies
api 'com.google.dagger:dagger:2.25.2'
kapt 'com.google.dagger:dagger-compiler:2.25.2'
api 'com.google.dagger:dagger-android:2.25.2'
api 'com.google.dagger:dagger-android-support:2.25.2'
kapt 'com.google.dagger:dagger-android-processor:2.25.2'

//coroutines
implementation 'org.jetbrains.kotlinx:kotlinx-coroutines-android:1.3.3'
implementation 'org.jetbrains.kotlinx:kotlinx-coroutines-test:1.3.3'

//apicalls
implementation 'com.squareup.retrofit2:retrofit:2.6.1'
implementation 'com.squareup.retrofit2:converter-gson:2.6.1'
implementation 'com.squareup.okhttp3:okhttp:4.2.0'
implementation 'com.jakewharton.retrofit:retrofit2-kotlin-coroutines-adapter:0.9.2'

//stetho interceptor
implementation 'com.facebook.stetho:stetho-okhttp3:1.3.1'

//okhttp interceptor
implementation 'com.squareup.okhttp3:logging-interceptor:3.14.3'

Step 7 – Add the below statements of dependencies by the SDK in App/Build.Gradle

plugins {
    ...
    id 'kotlin-android'
    id 'kotlin-kapt'
}

android {
    compileOptions {
        sourceCompatibility JavaVersion.VERSION_1_8
        targetCompatibility JavaVersion.VERSION_1_8
    }

    kotlinOptions {
        jvmTarget = '1.8'
    }

    packagingOptions {
        exclude 'META-INF/AL2.0'
        exclude 'META-INF/DEPENDENCIES'
        exclude 'META-INF/LICENSE'
        exclude 'META-INF/LICENSE.txt'
        exclude 'META-INF/license.txt'
        exclude 'META-INF/NOTICE'
        exclude 'META-INF/NOTICE.txt'
        exclude 'META-INF/notice.txt'
        exclude 'META-INF/ASL2.0'
        exclude 'META-INF/LGPL2.1'
        exclude("META-INF/*.kotlin_module")
    }

}

Step 8 – Now, open the AndroidManifest.XML and add the below provided permissions to proceed further with the development process.

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.RECORD_AUDIO" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.DISABLE_KEYGUARD" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.CAMERA" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.READ_PHONE_STATE" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.WAKE_LOCK" />

These are the technical steps that are required to have the secure chat app.

Conclusion

Well, till now we have discussed the technical part to build your chat app for android using the modern tech stacks with the help of CONTUS MirrorFly

However, here we made a start with the basic steps of authentication, initialization, requirements, features, license key, and more., with MirrorFly for better understanding of the process.

Hope you would have found this tutorial helpful and don’t forget to have check on our related official pages documents to explore further to know more about the features and functionalities for your chat app. 

If all these interest you to learn more, then stay tuned with us – we are in the process to explore and build more!

Thank you!

Need help and info on how to build an android chat app?

If you want to receive a consultation and feedback on your chat app idea for free, contact our experts

Parthiba is a Product Marketer, helping providers of the various industries like healthcare, education, etc., to elevate their conversation value with the help of powerful communication solutions to drive better communication experience.

5 Comments

  1. Sharma Reply

    I would like to use your real time messaging service for my android and iPhone app which is under development right now. Kindly let me know the pricing or packages you have

  2. Chlagou Reply

    Hello, I’m the technical director in remote society, we are developing a virtual workspace in unity3d, and we wanted to know if there is a compatible android chat SDK? Thanks, Chlagou

  3. Pasha Reply

    Hello we are building a chat platform for legal manners, and we want to have a few features: Video and audio calling, secure chat, incoming sms, outgoing sms, sms verification, app to phone calling. we are an early stage startup and we want to understand the integration process with your android SDKs and APis, as well to get ball park pricing in order to allocate funds. Let me know when would be a good time for a call. Have a wonderful day, Pasha, Co-Founder

  4. Goodman Reply

    I need your best price for android Chat API for my penniless, bootstrapped, live music gigging App which serves penniless bands. I guess what I’m saying here is ‘We really don’t have a lot of money and probably never will!’

  5. saxena Reply

    We are developing one service based marketplace like upwork where candidate and client can connect each other. We want real time chat, video and audio calling api for android app Please confirm the pricing

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