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Announcing a new Sendbird Chat UIKit for React Native, group voice calls for Unity, & 6 pristine SDKs for Sendbird’s REST Platform API

Launch blog rnunityapi
Aug 16, 2022
Isabelle hahn
Isabelle Hahn
SBM blog CTA mobile 1

Drive growth and reduce costs with omnichannel business messaging

On This Page
SBM blog CTA mobile 1

Drive growth and reduce costs with omnichannel business messaging

We have three important releases that we’re so excited to share! First off, we’ve built a new Sendbird Chat UIKit for React Native, which will help developers easily add chat to their cross-platform applications. Next, we are eager to see game studios boost engagement with our new group voice call feature released for Unity. Finally, developers will enjoy the first release of 6 new SDKs, which are for the Sendbird Chat Platform API. These will enhance the developer experience and reduce the time to value for all Sendbird customers. Details below! 📜

Sendbird UIKit for React Native v1

As the #1 enterprise-ready conversations platform powering leading apps such as Reddit, Hinge, and Krafton/PubG, our focus has been on enabling the highest performance on mobile with native SDKs for Android and iOS. At the same time, we understand why customers accept the overhead of mobile open source UI frameworks – the benefits of reducing development time and cost, as well as simplifying cross-platform deployment, are undeniable. React Native, as such, is a popular high-quality framework for building apps with the same JavaScript code on iOS and Android.

React Native is popular among developers. In the 2022 Developer Survey by Stack Overflow, React Native came in at the 8th position with 12.57% of votes for developer preference, close behind Flutter. The list of top apps using React Native is long. Developed by Meta Platforms, Inc, Instagram and Facebook unsurprisingly use React Native. It is also used by many more apps, such as Tesla and Airbnb.

Why React Native for the Sendbird Chat UIKit?

Since React Native programmers value development efficiency, our first React Native SDK is naturally a new Sendbird UIKit, the fastest way to integrate Sendbird Chat. Also, since we wanted to empower developers to build as soon as possible, we decided to release a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as quickly as possible. This MVP covers the core functionalities of group chat. Within a few months, the UIKit will support all the group features, and by the end of the year, the React Native UIKit will be at parity with the other UIKits for React, iOS, and Android. Stay tuned for the new revisions that will offer open channels and supergroups!

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The only UIKit you need.

How to get started with Sendbird UIKit for Chat on React Native

To get started, download our sample app on Github and start building right away! For additional guidance, see our docs to learn how to send your first message and explore key functions and components. Also, be sure to check out our training material available on our Youtube channel.

📣 Last bit of exciting information: Figma design resources are now available in addition to Sketch! Figma is a collaborative browser-based interface design tool that will make prototyping and the development process much easier and more flexible. To download it, see this page.

Sendbird group voice calls on Unity

Why add voice to your Unity game?

For multiplayer games like a squad shooting game such as PUBG: New State, voice communication is critical to building game strategies while keeping both hands on the controls. Now, of course, voice won’t always help players. Right, Leeroy? 😆 It helps engagement, however, because there is nothing more fun than engaging with our fellow humans! Chat, like voice, triggers our social brain and changes our behavior. In fact, voice chat users often played twice as much as non-voice chat players. This may be because voice deepens immersion and forges social bonds among users. These social bonds create a social experience beyond the game, similar to meeting friends at the coffee shop. For game studios, the social experience translates into higher retention and superior player Lifetime Value (LTV), a key business metric.

It’s also paramount to ensure the experience is readily available in the game. Why let the experience happen on a 3rd-party platform like Discord when creating chat and voice interaction in your app is as simple as a quick SDK integration of Sendbird Chat and Sendbird Calls?

How to integrate Sendbird group voice calls on Unity

To get started with Sendbird group voice calls on Unity for up to 100 participants, download our sample app and check out our quick tutorial covering requirements, dependencies, and the steps to make your first call. Sendbird Calls is available for iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows; more information is available in our docs. With all of these resources, you’ll be on your way to creating hyper-engaging in-game voice calls in no time!

Say hello to simplicity with six new Platform API chat SDKs

The Sendbird Platform REST API is a JSON API that connects your server to our platform to perform operations such as creating a new token or user. Imagine a food delivery service like Doordash onboarding a new customer. Doordash would create a new userID on the Sendbird Chat platform to enable the functionality on the user’s device. Doordash could also use the platform API to simultaneously send bulk announcements to thousands of customers.

Interacting with a JSON API can be cumbersome, however, and developers usually prefer coding in a language they are proficient in. With the developer experience in mind, our developer advocate team decided to build SDKs on top of the Open API Specification for common languages such as Python, PHP, Java, TypeScript, and JavaScript. See the docs for more.

The code provides a clean interface that will make the SDKs easy to use. You will also be able to explore the API with Intellisense. As a byproduct of us building the Open API spec file, we now have a richer Postman collection that you can use to interact with the API.

If you can’t find the language you are coding in, let us know on the Sendbird community. We’ll aggregate your request with the others and use your input to prioritize our following Platform API SDK. Did I hear Ruby? 😉

Always innovating and improving the developer experience!

All right! That’s it for the latest developer and feature releases! I hope you are as excited as we are about the React Native Chat UIKit MVP and Platform API SDKs. Looking forward to your feedback!

We’re always building products and features that improve the developer experience – stay tuned for more news and updates!

Until then, make your app social and fun with Sendbird-enabled conversations! ✌️🚀

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