Tutorial: How to Build an iOS Messaging App in 15 Minutes

Jed Gyeong Software Engineer - Applications (iOS)

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Please note that we’ve updated our iOS Messaging App Tutorial here.

This tutorial is based on SDK 2.0 outdated as of Aug. 2016.  Please refer to the updated sample built withSDK 3.0 here

Messaging is a big trend these days with applications ranging from dating apps, on-demand services, and consumer apps to e-commerce and mobile games. But building a messaging app from scratch is difficult and time-consuming. That’s why we’ve prepared this quick tutorial for building your own iOS messaging app.

Sendbird is the chat API and backend for apps. Rather than describe the steps necessary for building an iOS messaging app, we will build it in a sample project using Sendbird. The project comes with a basic UI/UX for a messaging app so that you can easily experience the development process for implementing a messaging feature leveraging Sendbird‘s chat API and backend.

Check out our sample code at any time.

Getting the Sample Project

You can kick-start this sample project simply by downloading the sample project here. All the parts required for the tutorial are there, including the basic UI resources.

Core Messaging Features

The project implements four features for simple open chat rooms, 1-on-1 and group messaging.

  • Open chat: Open chat is public chat. Anyone can join this channel and it requires no admission. The channel can be created on either the Sendbird dashboard or via the server API.
  • 1-on-1 messaging: 1-on-1 messaging is a private channel between two users. Think whatsapp.
  • Group messaging: Group messaging is a private channel shared among multiple users. Any user who wants to join the group messaging channel must be invited by other users within the channel.
  • Profile settings: In Profile settings, users can select a profile image and nickname to be displayed during chat.

The Guide to Building Your iOS Messaging App

The comprehensive guide for building an iOS messaging app is available on our guide hosted by Gitbook.

Follow the steps described in the guide and you’ll be on your way to creating the next big app using real-time messaging!

We are eager to see what exciting projects you are working on! Please send us your feedback at any time to

Have fun developing your iOS messaging app!

Categories: Engineering

Tags: Engineering, iOS