Send your first message
With Sendbird Chat SDK for iOS, you can efficiently integrate real-time chat into a client app. On the client-side implementation, you can initialize and configure the chat with minimal effort. On the server-side, Sendbird ensures reliable infra-management services for the chat service within your app.
This page demonstrates how to install the Chat SDK in your app so that you can send your first message in just a few simple steps.
Note: The fastest way to see Sendbird Chat SDK in action is to build your app on top of our sample app. Download the sample app to jumpstart your build.
The minimum requirements for Chat SDK for iOS are the following.
- Xcode 14.1 and later
- At least one device running iOS 11.0 and later
- Swift 5.0 and later or Objective-C
Note: Starting on April 25, 2023, you must build and test your app with Xcode 14.1 or later to submit to the App Store. You can use the existing Sendbird SDK versions built with both Xcode 13.x and Xcode 14.1+ but Sendbird is repackaging Chat for iOS with Xcode 14.1 and minimum iOS version of 11.0 starting on April 25, 2023.
Note: The Sendbird server supports Transport Layer Security (TLS) from version 1.0 up to 1.3. For example, in the server regions where TLS 1.3 isn't available, lower versions, sequentially from 1.2 to 1.0, will be supported for secure data transmission.
Before you start
Before installing Sendbird Chat SDK, you need to create a Sendbird application on Sendbird Dashboard, which comprises everything required in a chat service including users, messages, and channels. You need the Application ID of your Sendbird application from the dashboard when initializing the Chat SDK.
Go to Sendbird Dashboard and create an account for a free trial. If you already have a Sendbird account, sign into your account.
Create a new application by clicking Create + at the bottom right of your screen.
Enter a name for your application. Choose a Product Type and Region. Then, click Confirm.
Click the application you just created under Applications. You will see the Application ID on the overview page which you will need when initializing the Chat SDK.
Each Sendbird application can be integrated with a single client app. Within the same application, users can communicate with each other across all platforms, whether they are on mobile devices or on the web.
UIKit is a Sendbird Chat SDK add-on with user interfaces that enable an easy and fast integration of standard chat features into new or existing client apps.
If you would like a sample app with embedded UI, see UIKit Overview for iOS.
Access control list
Sendbird provides various access control options when using the Chat SDK. By default, the following attributes are turned on to avoid unexpected errors when creating sample apps and sending your first message:
- Allow retrieving user list
- Allow updating user metadata
- Allow creating open channels
- Allow creating group channels
However, this may grant access to unwanted data or operations, leading to potential security concerns. To manage your access control settings, you can turn on or off each option in Settings > Application > Security > Access control list on Sendbird Dashboard.
To send a message in a client app, you should build and configure an in-app chat using Sendbird Chat SDK.
Some methods in the following steps are asynchronous. When using asynchronous methods, client apps must receive success callbacks from the Sendbird server through completion delegates in order to proceed to the next step. A good way to achieve this is by nesting the methods.
Note: For best performance, subclassing isn't recommended in Sendbird Chat SDK v4 for iOS. Using subclassing may result in errors that demand more time to be resolved.
Step 1 Create a project
Create an Xcode project.
Step 2 Install the Chat SDK
If you don't want to use package managers, check out the manual installation guide.
Note: The name of the framework and the module is
SendbirdChatSDKwhile the main class in the SDK is called
You can use an Xcode native package manager Swift packages for installation.
Open Xcode, go to your project's General settings tab, and select your project under Project in the left column.
Go to the Swift packages tab and click the + button.
- When a pop-up shows, enter our github repository address in the search bar. The address is
- Set Rules and click Next.
SendbirdChatSDKin the Package product column and click Finish. This will establish a Swift Package Dependency menu in Xcode.
- Open a terminal window, move to your project directory, and then create a Podfile by running the following command.
- A Podfile will be created in your project folder. Open the Podfile and modify the file like the following.
- Then install the
SendbirdChatSDKframework by running the following command in the same terminal window.
- In the folder, you will see a new project file in the
.xcworkspaceformat. Now you can build your project with the
SendbirdChatSDKframework in the file.
- Open a terminal window and add the following line to create a Cartfile in your project folder.
- Move to your project directory, open the Cartfile, and add the following line to your Cartfile.
- Run the carthage update command to download Sendbird Chat SDK for iOS.
- Once the update is complete, go to your Xcode project's General settings tab. Then, open the <YOUR_XCODE_PROJECT_DIRECTORY>/Carthage/Build/iOS in the Finder window and drag and drop the SendbirdChatSDK.xcframework folder to the Frameworks, Libraries, and Embedded section in Xcode.
Step 3 Import the Chat SDK
With one simple import statement, you can use all classes and methods in both Swift and Objective-C without a bridging header file.
Note: Interacting with Objective-C APIs in Swift can help you understand how to use the Chat SDK in Swift syntax.
Step 4 Initialize the Chat SDK
Now, initialize the Chat SDK in the app to allow the Chat SDK to respond to changes according to the connection status in iOS client apps. Initialization requires your Sendbird application's
APP_ID, which can be found on Sendbird Dashboard.
Before calling the
initialize(params:migrationStartHandler:completionHandler:) method, create an
InitParams object with your Sendbird application ID. In the params, you can also determine whether to enable local caching or not.
completionHandler method gets the initialization status through different event handlers. The
migrationStartHandler method is called when there's an upgrade in the local database. Meanwhile, the
completionHandler method informs the client app whether the initialization is complete.
If the initialization fails when you set
true, the SDK will operate normally and change the value of
false. If you still wish to use local caching, clear the database using
clearCachedData(completionHandler:) and try the initialization again with
isLocalCachingEnabled set to
initialize(params:migrationStartHandler:completionHandler:)method of a
SendbirdChatinstance must be called across a client app at least once. We recommend that you initialize Sendbird Chat SDK through the
application:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:method of the
Step 5 Connect to the Sendbird server
You will need a user in order to send a message to a channel. You can either create a user on our dashboard or use a unique ID that hasn't been taken by any of your Sendbird application users. In the latter case, a new user will be automatically created in your Sendbird application before being connected.
To learn about using a token to authenticate a user, see the authentication page.
Step 6 Create a new open channel
Create an open channel using the following code blocks. Open channels are where all users in your Sendbird application can easily participate without an invitation.
Note: You can also create a group channel to send a message. To learn more, see the create a channel page.
Step 7 Enter the channel
Enter the open channel to send and receive messages.
Step 8 Send a message to the channel
Finally, send a message to the channel. To learn about the message types you can send, refer to Message overview in Chat Platform API.