This tutorial follows part 1 of the tutorial on how to build in-app chat using Kotlin. This 2-part guide aims to help you get up and running by showcasing a simple chat implementation.
Getting started with the UIKit is wonderfully accessible, but in some cases, you may need to implement chat from our Core SDK. This guide picks up where we left off in part 1. In part 1, we built out the:
In this tutorial, we will create the:
Before we dive in, please note the following:
Now that we have implemented the UI, we are going to implement the MessageAdapter.kt class. We are skipping the ChannelActivity.kt, as it makes more sense to talk about how the UI will be set before we get into things like channel handlers. This class will handle attaching data passed to it to a particular view in the recyclerView.
Now, create a class called MessageAdapter.kt. This class will extend RecyclerView.Adapter<RecyclerView.ViewHolder>(), so you will need to make sure to implement the following methods:
There are two additional functions we need to add. These are:
After we have handled the essential functions for a recyclerView Adapter, we will need to implement our own customViewHolders. We have two inner classes denoted by:
For the sake of a cleaner look, we also added an object that has two functions that help with date formatting. This is the gist:
This completes the code for the MessageAdapter class. To see the completed class for MessageAdapter.kt, go here.
Now that we have implemented the UI and taken care of the Adapter to connect the UI to the passed data, we will implement the ChannelActivity.kt.
The following class will:
First, create a ChannelActivity.kt class. In the onCreate function, we will set the contentView and call two functions to handle setting up.
The first function sets up the recyclerView and the messageAdapter we just created. This code follows a basic implementation for instantiating a recyclerView. Be sure to pass the context of the Activity for the messageAdapter as we will need that when setting the image, as we did above.
The second function handles setting the two buttons on the Activity: Back and Send. The Back button is self-explanatory, so let’s focus on the Send button.
For the Send button, we have a method called sendMessage. This function takes the text from the editText, and sets it on the param of UserMessageParams(). There is a lot more you can do with UserMessageParams(), and I encourage you to check it out, but for the sake of simplicity, we will just add the message. Then we’ll take the groupChannel instance and sendMessage(). Upon the return that it was successfully sent, we will add it to the adapter, then clear the editText.
Now that we have taken the case of the onCreate call, let’s get to the onResume call. This call is where we will handle getting the passed channel, and where we will register the channel handler to get various events – in this case, the onMessageReceived event.
First, we will want to get the channelURL from the intent. We will move this to a separate method for sake of visibility.
After we have the channelURL, we will need to make a call with the function GroupChannel.getChannel(). This call will take the channelUrl and retrieve the channel object to send messages and get relevant channel information. Once it returns successfully the channel, set the channel and be sure to call getMessages().
This function is pretty straightforward. It creates a previousMessageListQuery (There is a lot of customizing you can do here as well), then loads the messages, and finally calls loadMessages on the Adapter. This gets all the previous messages in the conversation. This function does support pagination so you can get the entire conversation history.
The final thing we need to do in the onResume call is to set a channel handler. The channel handler is how you can get various events such as typing indicators, message read, message delivered events, and onMessageReceived events. The only method we implemented was onMessageReceived. This event fires every time a message comes in from another user. Once we get the event, we add it to the Adapter as described in the following code.
Since we had an onResume call, let’s add an onPause. The only thing we will do here is to remove the channel handler for clean-up.
That completes the code for the ChannelActivity class. See the completed class for ChannelActivity.kt here.
In this tutorial, we covered how to:
This tutorial is a stepping stone to the many things you can do with the Sendbird SDK. With what we have just implemented, you can easily start to:
You did it! You are now connecting users with chat in your Android app! Check our docs and developer portal to build more features. If you have questions, contact us on the community site. In the meantime, happy chat building! 🙂
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