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Direct call

This page explains key functions of direct call consisting of how to make, receive, handle, and end a call from your client app.


Make a call

Initiate a call by providing the callee’s user id into the SendBirdCall.dial() method. Use the CallOptions object to choose initial call configuration, such as audio or video capabilities, video settings, and mute settings.

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DialParams params = new DialParams(CALLEE_ID);
params.setVideoCall(true);
params.setCallOptions(new CallOptions());

DirectCall call = SendBirdCall.dial(params, new DialHandler() {
    @Override
    public void onResult(DirectCall call, SendBirdException e) {
        if (e == null) {
            // The call has been created successfully.
        }
    }
});

Receive a call

To receive an incoming call, a SendBirdCallListener event handler should already be registered in the callee’s client app. Accept or decline the call using the directCall.accept() or the directCall.end() method. If the call is accepted, a media session will automatically be established by the Calls SDK.

Before accepting the call, the call-specific DirectCallListener event handler must be added to the call object. It enables the callee’s app to react to events during the call through its callback methods.

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SendBirdCall.addListener(UNIQUE_HANDLER_ID, new SendBirdCallListener() {
    @Override
    public void onRinging(DirectCall call) {
        call.setListener(new DirectCallListener() {
            @Override
            public void onEstablished(DirectCall call) {
            }

            @Override
            public void onConnected(DirectCall call) {
            }

            @Override
            public void onEnded(DirectCall call) {
            }

            @Override
            public void onRemoteAudioSettingsChanged(DirectCall call) {
            }

        });

        call.accept(new AcceptParams());
    }
});

The callee’s client app receives an incoming call through either the established connection with Sendbird server or a Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) push notification when the app is in the background. To use the Calls SDK in the callee’s client app, the SendBirdCall instance must deliver received FCM push notifications to the Calls SDK.

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public class MyFirebaseMessagingService extends FirebaseMessagingService {
    @Override
    public void onMessageReceived(@NonNull RemoteMessage remoteMessage) {
        if (SendBirdCall.handleFirebaseMessageData(remoteMessage.getData())) {

        } else {
            // Handle non-SendBirdCall Firebase messages.
        }
    }
}

Handle a current call

During a current call, both the caller and callee’s audio can be muted or unmuted by the directCall.muteMicrophone() or directCall.unmuteMicrophone() method. If one party changes audio settings, the other party receives an event callback through the DirectCallListener.onRemoteAudioSettingsChanged() method.

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// Mute my microphone
directCall.muteMicrophone();
// Unmute my microphone
directCall.unmuteMicrophone();
// Start to show video
directCall.startVideo();
// Stop showing video
directCall.stopVideo();

// Receive the event
directCall.setListener(new DirectCallListener() {
    ...

    @Override
    public void onRemoteAudioSettingsChanged(DirectCall call) {
        if (call.isRemoteAudioEnabled()) {
            // The remote user has been unmuted.
            // Display an unmuted icon.
        } else {
            // The remote user has been muted.
            // Display and toggles a muted icon.
        }
    }

    @Override
    public void onRemoteVideoSettingsChanged(DirectCall call) {
        if (call.isRemoteVideoEnabled()) {
            // The remote user has started video.
        } else {
            // The remote user has stopped video.
        }
    }
    ...

});

End a call

The directCall.end() method ends a current call of either the caller or callee’s side. If one party ends a current call, the other party receives an event callback through the DirectCallListener.onEnded() method.

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// End a call
directCall.end();

...

// Receive the event
directCall.setListener(new DirectCallListener() {
    ...

    @Override
    public void onEnded(DirectCall call) {
        // Release or destroy call-related views from here.
    }
    ...

});

Manage custom items

With custom items, you can store additional information to a call in addition to default values in the DirectCall object. These key-value custom items are delivered as a Map<String, String> and can be updated during the call. Examples of items that could be included in the call are customer service, refund, or inquiry for better user experience.

Add

Custom items can be added to a call either by a caller or a callee. When dialing, the caller can add a Map<String, String> to a DialParams object by using the setCustomItems() method. The default value of a call's custom items is an empty Map object.

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Map<String, String> customItemsToAdd = new HashMap<>();
customItemsToAdd.put("key1", "value1");
customItemsToAdd.put("key2", "value2");
directCall.updateCustomItems(customItemsToAdd, (addedCustomItems, affectedKeys, e) -> {
    // Handle added custom items.
});

Update and delete

During a call, custom items can be modified by directly updating or deleting custom items of a given call. You can use directCall.updateCustomItems() to update current custom items with new custom items. If keys for the new custom items don't exist, new custom items will be added to the existing list of items. Otherwise, existing items will be replaced with new custom items.

You can modify custom items without directly referring to the DirectCall object. The custom items of the call from the SendBirdCall can also be modified by calling the same set of methods with an additional callId parameter. If a call with the corresponding callId exists, the SendBirdCall will update the custom items of that call.

You can delete a specific custom item with its given key by using directCall.deleteCustomItems() or delete all custom items associated with the call by using directCall.deleteAllCustomItems(). Through a completion handler, you will receive the updated custom items, a list of keys of the modified custom items, and an error from Sendbird server.

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Map<String, String> customItemsToModify = new HashMap<>();
customItemsToModify.put("key1", "value3");
customItemsToModify.put("key2", "value4");
directCall.updateCustomItems(customItemsToModify, (modifiedCustomItems, affectedKeys, e) -> {
    // Handle updated custom items.
});

Set<String> customItemKeysToDelete = new HashSet<>();
customItemsKeysToDelete.add("key1");
customItemsKeysToDelete.add("key2");
directCall.deleteCustomItems(customItemKeysToDelete, (deletedCustomItems, affectedKeys, e) -> {
    // Handle deleted custom items.
});

directCall.deleteAllCustomItems((deletedCustomItems, affectedKeys, e) -> {
    // Handle deleted custom items.
});

Receive events

To receive events from Sendbird server when custom items are modified, you can implement onCustomItemsUpdated() and onCustomItemsDeleted() from the DirectCallListener. Events contain the DirectCall object of changed custom items and updatedKeys or deletedKeys. Custom items can always be modified, custom items are always modifiable, Custom items can always be modified, however these events will only be delivered if the call is ongoing. If the call ends, events are not delivered to the DirectCallListener. You can always access modified custom items with the Calls API or by using the directCall.getCustomItems().

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directCall.setListener(new DirectCallListener() {
    ...

    @Override
    public void onCustomItemsUpdated(DirectCall call, List<String> updatedKeys) {
    }

    @Override
    public void onCustomItemsDeleted(DirectCall call, List<String> deletedKeys) {
    }

    ...
});

// You can get the call's custom items by calling the getCustomItems() method.
directCall.getCustomItems();

Add event handlers

There are two types of event handlers that the Calls SDK provides: SendBirdCallListener and DirectCallListener.

SendBirdCallListener

Add a device-specific SendBirdCallListener event handler using the SendBirdCall.addSendBirdCallListener() method. Once the event handler is added, responding to device events such as incoming calls can be managed as shown below.

Note: If a SendBirdCallListener event handler isn’t registered, a user can't receive an onRinging callback event, thus recommended to add this handler at the initialization of the app. Also, the SendBirdCallListener event handler is automatically removed when the app closes by default.

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//The UNIQUE_HANDLER_ID below is a unique user-defined ID for a specific event handler.
SendBirdCall.addListener(UNIQUE_HANDLER_ID, new SendBirdCallListener() {
    @Override
    public void onRinging(DirectCall call) {
    }
});

List of methods

MethodInvoked when

onRinging()

An incoming call is notified on the callee’s device.

onAudioInputDeviceChanged()

There are changes in the system’s audio input device or the available local audio input devices.

onAudioOutputDeviceChanged()

There are changes in the system’s audio output device or the available local audio output devices.

DirectCallListener

Before accepting the call, the call-specific DirectCallListener event handler must be added to the call object. It enables the callee’s app to react to events happening during the call through its callback methods.

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directCall.setListener(new DirectCallListener() {
    @Override
    public void onEstablished(DirectCall call) {
    }

    @Override
    public void onConnected(DirectCall call) {
    }

    @Override
    public void onEnded(DirectCall call) {
    }

    @Override
    public void onRemoteAudioSettingsChanged(DirectCall call) {
    }

    @Override
    public void onCustomItemsUpdated(DirectCall call) {
    }

    @Override
    public void onCustomItemsDeleted(DirectCall call) {
    }

    @Override
    public void onReconnecting(DirectCall call) {
    }

    @Override
    public void onReconnected(DirectCall call) {
    }

    @Override
    public void onAudioDeviceChanged(DirectCall call, AudioDevice currentAudioDevice, Set<AudioDevice> availableAudioDevices) {
    }

    @Override
    public void onRemoteRecordingStatusChanged(DirectCall call) {
    }
});

List of methods

MethodInvoked when

onEstablished()

The callee has accepted the call by using the directCall.accept() method, but the media devices of caller and callee are not yet connected.

onConnected()

Media devices (for example, microphone and speakers) between the caller and callee are connected and can start the call.

onReconnecting()

A DirectCall instance is attempting to reconnect to Sendbird server after losing connection.

onReconnected()

The call successfully reconnects to Sendbird server.

onEnded()

One of the parties ends a call by using the directCall.end() method and a call is ended due to other reasons such as decline or connection lost.

onAudioDeviceChanged()

The audio device used for the call has changed.

onRemoteAudioSettingsChanged()

The remote user changes their audio settings.

onRemoteVideoSettingsChanged()

The remote user changes their video settings.

onRemoteRecordingStatusChanged()

The remote user changes their recording status.

onCustomItemsUpdated()

The custom items of the call are updated.

onCustomItemsDeleted()

The custom items of the call are deleted.


Retrieve call information

One party’s information can be retrieved through the directCall.getLocalUser() method while the other party’s information through the directCall.getRemoteUser() method.


Retrieve call history

A user’s call history can be retrieved using the next() method of a DirectCallLogListQuery instance which returns a list of call objects.

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DirectCallLogListQuery.Params params = new DirectCallLogListQuery.Params();
DirectCallLogListQuery listQuery = SendBirdCall.createDirectCallLogListQuery(params);

listQuery.next(new DirectCallLogListQueryResultHandler() {
    @Override
    public void onResult(List<DirectCallLog> callLogs, SendBirdException e) {
        if (e == null) {
            if (listQuery.hasNext() && !listQuery.isLoading()) {
                // The listQuery.next() can be called once more to fetch more call logs.
            }
        }
    }
});

The call log can be immediately obtained after a call has ended. However, in the caller’s case, only the local log will be retrieved unless the sync has been made with the server. If you want to check whether a call log is synchronized with the server or not, use the callLog.isFromServer() method. To retrieve call history from the server instead of the local log, use the DirectCallLogListQuery.

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directCall.setListener(new DirectCallListener() {
    ...

    @Override
    public void onEnded(DirectCall call) {
        ...

        DirectCallLog callLog = call.getCallLog();
        // Appropriately add this callLog object to the callLog list.
    }
    ...

});

Select video output

Users can select a device for video output during a video call. The list of available video devices can be accessed by the directCall.getAvailableVideoDevices() method. To change the current video output device to one of the other available video devices, the directCall.selectVideoDevice() method should be called.

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List<VideoDevice> availableVideoDevices = directCall.getAvailableVideoDevices();
VideoDevice currentVideoDevice = directCall.getCurrentVideoDevice();

for (VideoDevice availableVideoDevice : availableVideoDevices) {
    if (!availableVideoDevice.getCameraCharacteristics().get(CameraCharacteristics.LENS_FACING)
            .equals(currentVideoDevice.getCameraCharacteristics().get(CameraCharacteristics.LENS_FACING))) {
        directCall.selectVideoDevice(availableVideoDevice, e -> {
            if (e != null) {
                // An error occurred while selecting a device for video output.
            }
        });
    }
}

To turn on the switch between the front and back cameras function, use the switchCamera() method.

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directCall.switchCamera(e -> {
    if (e != null) {
        // An error occurred while switching between the front and back cameras.
    }

    ...
});

Capture video views

During a video call, the caller and callee can capture the images of their streaming video by using either the captureLocalVideoVidew() or captureRemoteVideoView() methods when needed.

- Local video view

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directCall.captureLocalVideoView(new CaptureVideoViewHandler() {
    @Override
    public void onCaptured(Bitmap capturedImage, SendBirdException e) {
        if (e != null) {
            // Handle error.
        }

        // Implement code for handling a successfully-captured image.
    }
});

- Remote video view

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directCall.captureRemoteVideoView(new CaptureVideoViewHandler() {
    @Override
    public void onCaptured(Bitmap capturedImage, SendBirdException e) {
        if (e != null) {
            // Handle error.
        }

        // Implement code for handling a successfully-captured image.
    }
});

Note: For errors that may occur when capturing video views, see the Error codes page.


Record audio and video

When making a direct call with Sendbird Calls, audio and video recordings for both local and remote users are available. The recorded file will be saved on the user’s local file storage and users can transfer or process the file.

Only one ongoing recording session is allowed, which means that the current recording session must be stopped in order to start another recording. However, several sessions can be recorded throughout the call, thus multiple recording files created from one call.

The SendBirdCall currently supports five recording types:

List of recording types

NameDescription

REMOTE_AUDIO_AND_VIDEO

An option to record the video and audio of the remote user.

REMOTE_AUDIO_ONLY

An option to record the audio of the remote user.

LOCAL_REMOTE_AUDIOS

An option to record both audios of the local and remote users.

LOCAL_AUDIO_REMOTE_AUDIO_AND_VIDEO

An option to record both audios of the local and remote users, and the video of the remote user.

LOCAL_AUDIO_AND_VIDEO_REMOTE_AUDIO

An option to record both audios of the local and remote users, and the video of the local user.

Start recording a call

Start recording a call using the directCall.startRecording() method. You can customize the type and the name of the recording as well as the output path where a recorded file will be saved with a RecordingOptions object.

If the name of a file isn’t specified for the fileName parameter in the method, the recorded file’s name will follow the default pattern of {recording_type}_{call_id}_{timestamp}.

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RecordingOptions options = new RecordingOptions(RecordingOptions.RecordingType.REMOTE_AUDIO_AND_VIDEO, DIRECTORY_PATH, FILE_NAME);
// Records remote user’s audio and video, with output file path of `OUTPUT_PATH/FILE_NAME.mp4`

directCall.startRecording(options, new RecordingStartedHandler() {
    @Override
    public void onRecordingStarted(@Nullable String recordingId, @Nullable SendBirdException e) {
        if (e == null) {
            // The recording has been started successfully.
        }
    }
});

A recordingId is delivered through the RecordingStartedHandler of the directCall.startRecording() method when the recording starts successfully. Make sure to save the recordingId to stop the recording session. If the recordingId is invalid or missing when the directCall.stopRecording() method is called, you can’t stop the recording session when needed.

Note: The SendBirdCall doesn’t check for file read and write permissions or any other permissions related to the media. Make sure that the application can write at the specified destination folder before starting a recording session.

Stop recording a call

Stop recording a call using the directCall.stopRecording() method with the recordingId received from the RecordingStartedHandler of the directCall.startRecording() method. If a recording session isn’t stopped by the time the call has ended, the recording session automatically ends as well.

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directCall.stopRecording(recordingId);
// Stop a recording session with the given recordingId.
// If the provided recordingId is invalid, the request will be ignored.

After the recording is finished, the RecordingListener.onRecordingSucceeded() method will be called.

Receive events

In order to receive events about the completion of the recordings, add a device-specific RecordingListener by using the SendBirdCall.addRecordingListener() event method. Once the event listener is added, your client app can handle the following two events as shown below:

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SendBirdCall.addRecordingListener(UNIQUE_ID, new RecordingListener() {
    @Override
    public void onRecordingSucceeded(@NotNull DirectCall directCall, @NotNull String recorderId, @NotNull RecordingOptions recordingOptions, @NotNull String outputFilePath) {
        // Recording was successfully saved to 'outputURL'.
    }

    @Override
    public void onRecordingFailed(@NotNull DirectCall directCall, @NotNull String recorderId, @NotNull SendBirdException e) {
        // Recording wasn’t saved due to an 'e'.
    }
});

You can remove the device-specific RecordingListener as shown below:

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SendBirdCall.removeRecordingListener(UNIQUE_ID);
// Remove a recording listener with the specified identifier.

SendBirdCall.removeAllRecordingListeners();
// Remove all recording listeners from the application.

Note: The RecordingListener.onRecordingSucceeded() event method won’t be called if errors occur at the start of recording sessions after calling the directCall.startRecording() method.

Get permission

To save the recording session to an external storage, a permission to read and write files must be granted. For more information, visit the Android documentation page.

Recorded files

While streaming audio or video is being recorded, it is transcoded almost simultaneously to convert the stream into an MP4 file regardless of the recording option. After your recording is done, it typically takes less than a second to save the recording as an MP4 file.

Recorded videos will have a fixed frame size of 1280x720 pixels. Video recording uses around 20 MB of data per minute, but this may vary depending on the type of the recording content.

The SendBirdCall doesn’t handle anything related to managing recorded files. If there isn’t enough storage to save the recorded file, RecordingListener.onRecordingFailed will be called.

Recording notifications

During a voice or video call, users can notify each other if the call is being recorded.

If a user starts or stops local recording on their device, the other user will be able to receive an event callback through the DirectCallListener.onRemoteRecordingStatusChange(DirectCall call) method. Users can also check the recording status of the other user with DirectCall.getRemoteRecordingStatus().

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// Recording status of the local user
directCall.getLocalRecordingStatus()

// Recording status of the remote user
directCall.getRemoteRecordingStatus()

directCall.setListener(new DirectCallListener() {
    @Override
    public void onRemoteRecordingStatusChanged(DirectCall call) {

    }
});

Share screen

During a video call, both the caller and callee can share their screens with each other by using Android’s MediaProjetion.

Start screen share

To start sharing your screen, follow the instructions below.

Step 1: Get MediaProjection permission Request screen capturing permission from the user and pass the result to the Calls SDK.

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MediaProjectionManager mpm = (MediaProjectionManager) getSystemService(Context.MEDIA_PROJECTION_SERVICE);
startActivityForResult(mpm.createScreenCaptureIntent(), MEDIA_PROJECTION_REQUEST_CODE);@Override
protected void onActivityResult(int requestCode, int resultCode, @androidx.annotation.Nullable Intent data) {
    super.onActivityResult(requestCode, resultCode, data);
    if (requestCode == MEDIA_PROJECTION_REQUEST_CODE && resultCode == Activity.RESULT_OK) {
        // Save the requested result data here.
        mScreenSharingData = data;
    }
}

Note: When the above code is called, the operating system will automatically ask the user to confirm the permission to record the screen.

Step 2: Start foreground services for MediaProjection (optional)

Call the MediaProjectionManager.getMediaProjection() method in the Calls SDK. Calling this method requires foreground services if the operating system level is higher than Build.VERSION_CODES.Q. Make sure to start the foregroundService before calling the DirectCall.startScreenShare() method.

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<!-- AndroidManifest.xml -->
<service android:name=".ScreenSharingService"
    android:foregroundServiceType="mediaProjection" />

Step 3: Start screen share

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call.startScreenShare(mediaProjectionPermissionResultData, e -> {
    if (e == null) {
        // Successfully started screen share.
    }
});

When the startScreenShare method is called, both the local user's localVideoView and the remote user’s remoteVideoView will be replaced with the screen share view. Currently, displaying the local camera view and the local screen share view together is not supported.

Note: MediaProjection requires Android 5.0 (API Level 21) or higher.

Stop screen share

You can stop sharing your screen and return to the video view as shown below:

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call.stopScreenShare(e -> {
    if (e == null) {
        // Successfully stopped screen share.
    }
});

Add sound effects

You can use different sound effects to enhance the user experience for events that take place while using Sendbird Calls.

To add sound effects, use the SendBirdCall.Options.addDirectCallSound() method for the following events: DIALING, RINGING, RECONNECTING, and RECONNECTED. Remember to set sound effects before the mentioned events occur. To remove sound effects, use the SendBirdCall.Options.removeDirectCallSound() method.

To set the dialing sound effect in silent or vibrade mode, the setDirectCallDialingSoundOnWhenSilentOrVibrateMode() method should be used.

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// Play on a caller’s side when making a call.
SendBirdCall.Options.addDirectCallSound(SendBirdCall.SoundType.DIALING, R.raw.dialing);

// Set up dialing sound when silent mode.
SendBirdCall.Options.setDirectCallDialingSoundOnWhenSilentOrVibrateMode(true);

// Play on a callee’s side when receiving a call.
SendBirdCall.Options.addDirectCallSound(SendBirdCall.SoundType.RINGING, R.raw.ringing);

// Play when a connection is lost, but the SDK immediately attempts to reconnect.
SendBirdCall.Options.addDirectCallSound(SendBirdCall.SoundType.RECONNECTING, R.raw.reconnecting);

// Play when the connection is re-established.
SendBirdCall.Options.addDirectCallSound(SendBirdCall.SoundType.RECONNECTED, R.raw.reconnected);

For more information about sound effects, refer to our Calls SDK GitHub repository's README.