Introduction

Are you planning to build messaging app in android? Getting amazed with its thought!

But still wondering to proceed further!

Chill! This tutorial is your blueprint – I will walk you through an end-to-end technical part to build your Android messaging chat application alongside building your confidence as well.

Before diving deep into the core, let’s have some insight about the needs of andorid chat apps in the businesses.

Create A Android Chat App With Basic Features

You can find several real time chat apps in the market with numerous features specifying their uniqueness. But still, there are some ground-level features that are common for all.

Here, Let’s Have A Look At Some Of These Grounded Features For Your Android Ap

  • One-to-One Private chat : Allows the user to get connected to another particular user in no time.
  • Group Chat : Permits to create private or public groups to have real time conversations with an unlimited number of people.
  • Video calling & Conferencing : Enables you to make peer-to-peer HD video calling on any platform. Also allows you to have a group or conference video calling with up to more than 5 users with a crystal clear quality.
  • Voice Calling : Allows you to make calls instantly and get connected to people across the world. Even with conference calling you can experience fine tuned quality while connecting with multiple users.
  • Video Call Recording : Enables to record every call, also compose the video to your likings with edits and store the recording effortlessly in cloud.
  • File Transfer : Enables to share multiple files of any type to any user privately or publicly.
  • Tabbed Messages : It allows you to alter any number of chats and combine multiple messages into a single window.
  • Animated GIFs : It makes the communication more interactive with just-a-click option of animated GIFs to turn the chat more engaging.
  • Real time Language Translation : You can have your conversations translated into any language within the chat screen.
  • Cross-platform Calling : Helps in making direct high-quality voice calls to a desktop, any platform or mobile app anytime, anywhere.

However, these are some but there are more to dig deep into when it comes to real time communication applications.

How To Build An Android Chat App Using Kotlin Or Java?

As already discussed, Let’s have some in-depth understanding with steps as to how these android chat apps are built using specific programming languages such as kotlin and Java.

Anyhow, whenever you are planning to have your android chat SDK, the first step is to open an Android Studio, as every language starts over with its technical journey from its platform or studio.

Once, done with that you have to decide which programming language to proceed with. Mostly, Kotlin is preferred over Java for most of its qualified and easy to use attributes.

Furthermore in simple words, to build an android chat app the entire tutorial can be divided into two parts : The first part covers initializing and login, where the display, selection, and creation of channels is done. The second part includes the details about channels like 1-to-1 private or group chat channels, etc.

Depending upon these two activities, the entire process of the technical part is carried over to build an android chat app which we will have a further look on in the upcoming section.

For now, let’s see what could be the best choice to go for to build an messaging app, something ready-made or build from scratch.

How Do You Make A Android Chat App From Scratch? : Readymade Vs Custom

If someone asks you, what to choose: a ready-made or custom solution? What could be your response? Of course, the first thing that strikes your mind would be what is special about each of them. Exactly! That’s what I am going to tell you now but in brief.

Ready-made solutions can also be indirectly considered as a White label Chat app as it is one of the basic features found in them. as the name suggests, they are the solutions that are available as an in-built one that you can purchase and integrate into your existing application.

The main drawback of these ready-made solutions is that you can only avail the benefits of the features that already exist. But, since it is available with the restriction it won’t provide you with the facility to add extra features in future. But, it does allow your solution to be hosted on our cloud as well as on your premises or cloud as per your business needs. 

Whereas in the case of custom solutions, there is a need to building a chat app for android from scratch . It involves the following steps

Build Custom Solution Steps

  • Check for a platform – have a clear idea as what is your targeted platform Android or iOS?
  • Mission of your app – What and whom does your app target ? This is so as to have an idea about the features that need to be included in the application.
  • MVP (minimum viable product) – It talks about the need as how the MVP look like including the features.
  • Duration to develop an application – Before starting must be clear with the idea of finding a specialized developer – in-house or remotely. Of course, with a set of supporting teams to set the duration to build an application

The overall highlight of these custom android chat apps is that in the future you can add any number of features as per your business requirements with no restrictions. As an outcome of the above, both sound to be great in their own means, but finally it’s all about your needs.

Let’s have a look at what are the things being needed when building your own android chat app with CONTUS MirrorFly – “One of the market’s leading in-app Chat APIs & SDKs provider“.

Tutorial For Building Android Chat App Using MirrorFly SDK In Android Studio

Well, when it comes to building a messaging chat, voice, and video solution, every chat app provider follows their own protocols. Moreoless, all of them would be checking out to give out something best.

This section is all about the involvement of CONTUS MirrorFly when it comes to building chat applications for Android, iOS and web apps.

But here, I am going to give you an understanding of creating team chat app for Android platform. The exciting part is that this solution can be integrated easily into your application. Moreover, when it comes to the client-side, you can have them initialized as well as configured as per your need with minimal effort.

On the other hand with regards to server-side, CONTUS MirrorFly focuses mainly on the reliability within the application. It allows the space for all server setup-related documents to be downloaded from the control panels’ download section.

This later with initialization page gives the Chat SDK’s structure and installation procedure. Once everything is done, it moves across the preliminary steps of implementing the Chat SDK in your own project.

List Of Requirements For Build Chat Application Android

Let’s have a look at some of the minimal requirements for Chat SDK for Android

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

SDK License Key

As an initial process, it is essential to see that the SDK is authenticated by CONTUS MirrorFly server using License Key. In this, you can make use of the master License Key in your dashboard while generating an account.

But, one thing that needs to be noticed is that the master API token can not be revoked or changed later.

Install MirrorFly Chat SDK In Your Android App

To begin with, you need to check whether the SDK has already been compiled into an AAR file or not? This is so as to use the SDK, the below AAR file has to be imported into the project. However, the support of kotlin is needed for the messaging SDK in the project to move ahead.

Step 1 : First have to download the latest SDK from CONTUS MirrorFly Control Panel Download’s section.

Step 2 : Extract the files from downloaded zip file.

Step 3 : Create a new Android project.

Step 4 : Add the file libraries in app/libs folder in the project,


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

Step 5 : Add The Following 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 Required 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 Code In The App-Level 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 : Open The AndroidManifest.Xml And Add Below Permissions


                        <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" />
                                        
                  

Conclusion

Well, this article would have given you deep clarity over the technical terms when it comes to building your own chat application for Android.

But, let me tell you that CONTUS MirrorFly provides this fantastic application for iOS and web apps as well.

Thus, if in case you are interested to know further about creating a chat app with iOS or web application, then I am happy to say that I am on my way to get you more on such technical contents in future. So, stay tuned !

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