Chat UIKit Android v2
Chat UIKit Android
Chat UIKit
Version 2
Sendbird Chat UIKit v2 for Android is no longer supported as a new version is released. Check out our latest Chat UIKit v3

Send your first message

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Sendbird UIKit for Android is a set of prebuilt UI components that allows you to easily craft an in-app chat with all the essential messaging features. Our development kit includes light and dark themes, text fonts, colors and more. You can customize these components to create an interactive messaging interface unique to your brand identity.

Sendbird UIKit supports both open channels and group channels. Follow the guide below to start sending a message from scratch using Java or Kotlin.

Note: To build an Android chat app with UIKit, see our Android UIKit tutorial. To learn how to customize in-app chat on Android, see this tutorial.


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The minimum requirements for UIKit for Android are:

  • Android 4.1 (API level 16) or higher
  • Java 8
  • Support androidx only
  • Gradle 4.0.1 or higher
  • Sendbird Chat SDK for Android 3.1.1 and later

Before you start

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Before installing Sendbird Chat SDK, you need to create a Sendbird application on the Sendbird Dashboard, which comprises everything required in a chat service including users, messages, and channels. You will need the App ID of your Sendbird application when initializing the Chat SDK.

Note: 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.

Get started

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You can start building a modern messaging experience in your app by installing Sendbird UIKit. This developer kit is an add-on feature to Sendbird Chat SDK so installing it will also install the core Chat SDK.

Step 1 Create a project

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To get started, open Android Studio and create a new project for UIKit in the Project window as follows:

  1. Click Start a new Android Studio project in the Welcome to Android Studio window.
  2. Select Empty Activity in the Select a Project Template window and click Next.
  3. Enter your project name in the Name field in the Configure your project window.
  4. Select your language as either Java or Kotlin from the Language drop-down menu.
  5. Make sure Use legacy is unchecked.
  6. Select minimum API level as 16 or higher.

Step 2 Install UIKit

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You can install UIKit for Android through Gradle. If using Gradle 6.7 or lower, add the following code to your root build.gradle file:

allprojects {
    repositories {
        maven { url "" }
        maven { url "" }

Note: Make sure the above code block isn't added to your module build.gradle file.

If using Gradle 6.8 or higher, add the following to your settings.gradle file:

dependencyResolutionManagement {
    repositories {
        maven { url "" }
        maven { url "" }

Note: To learn more about updates to Gradle, see this release note.

Next, for all Gradle versions, open the build.gradle file at the application level. For both Java and Kotlin, add the following code block and dependencies:

apply plugin: ''

android {
    buildFeatures {
        dataBinding true

    compileOptions {
        sourceCompatibility JavaVersion.VERSION_1_8    // Make sure you have JavaVersion 1.8.
        targetCompatibility JavaVersion.VERSION_1_8    // Make sure you have JavaVersion 1.8.

dependencies {
    implementation 'com.sendbird.sdk:uikit:2.2.7'

Before saving the build.gradle file, check if you’ve enabled dataBinding. Then, click the Sync button to apply all changes.

Note: UIKit SDK versions 2.1.1 or lower can be downloaded from JCenter until February 1, 2022. SDK versions higher than 2.1.1 will be available on Sendbird's remote repository.

Step 3 Initialize SendbirdUIKit instance

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To integrate and run Sendbird UIKit in your app, you need to initialize it first. You can initialize SendBirdUIKit instance by passing the SendBirdUIKitAdapter instance as an argument to a parameter in the SendBirdUIKit.init() method. The SendBirdUIKit.init() must be called once in the onCreate() method of your app’s Application instance.

Note: Local caching has now been added so that the client app can locally cache and retrieve channel and message data. The addition of this functionality requires the database to be reset and migrated. As a result of DB migration in the server, the initialization process of the SendBirdUIKit instance is now asynchronous and requires you to receive a callback function before you can move onto the next step. If the database fails to migrate, the onInitFailed() method is called. If the database successfully migrates, the onInitSucceed() method is called and you can proceed to the next step. Refer to the updated code below.


import androidx.annotation.NonNull;
import androidx.annotation.Nullable;

import com.sendbird.uikit.SendBirdUIKit;
import com.sendbird.uikit.adapter.SendBirdUIKitAdapter;
import com.sendbird.uikit.interfaces.UserInfo;

public class BaseApplication extends Application {
    public void onCreate() {

        SendBirdUIKit.init(new SendBirdUIKitAdapter() {
            public String getAppId() {
                return "YOUR_APP_ID";  // Specify your Sendbird application ID.

            public String getAccessToken() {
                return "";

            public UserInfo getUserInfo() {
                return new UserInfo() {
                    public String getUserId() {
                        return "USER_ID";  // Specify your user ID.

                    public String getNickname() {
                        return "USER_NICKNAME";  // Specify your user nickname.

                    public String getProfileUrl() {
                        return "";

            public InitResultHandler getInitResultHandler() {
                return new InitResultHandler() {
                    public void onMigrationStarted() {
                        // DB migration has started.

                    public void onInitFailed(SendBirdException e) {
                        // If DB migration fails, this method is called.

                    public void onInitSucceed() {
                        // If DB migration is successful, this method is called and you can proceed to the next step.
                        // In the sample app, the `LiveData` class notifies you on the initialization progress
                        // And observes the `MutableLiveData<InitState> initState` value in `SplashActivity()`.
                        // If successful, the `LoginActivity` screen
                        // Or the `HomeActivity` screen will show.
        }, this);

Step 4 Add BaseApplication

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Add the created BaseApplication to AndroidManifest.xml.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<manifest xmlns:android=""

        android:name=".BaseApplication"  // Add this line.
        <activity android:name=".MainActivity">
                <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />
                <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />

Step 5 Display channel list

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ChannelListActivity is the starting point for launching UIKit in your application. By implementing the code below, you will see a complete list of group channels that you're a member of.

package com.example.uikitapplication;

import com.sendbird.uikit.activities.ChannelListActivity;

public class MainActivity extends ChannelListActivity {
    // Add this line.
    // If you’re going to inherit `ChannelListActivity`, don’t implement `setContentView()` in the activity.

Step 6 Send your first message

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You can now run the application on an emulator or a plugged-in device. To send a message, you must first create a group channel by clicking on the icon in the top-right corner. Then, you can select users you wish to invite as members to your channel. Once the channel has been created, type your first message and press send.

You've successfully sent your first message with Sendbird.

Note: To customize your user list instead of retrieving the entire list from Sendbird server, set the custom user list query handler.

UIKit components

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Methods provided by Sendbird UIKit for Android automatically process data using our Chat SDK. Using Activities and Fragments, chat can easily be added to your Android client app using the components below.

SendBirdUIKit instance

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This is the most important class in the UIKit. These interfaces can be used to initialize information and call all Activity components.

List of methods

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Initializes a SendBirdUIKit instance.


Sets a theme as the default theme.


Retrieves the default theme.


Determines whether the theme mode is ThemeMode.Dark


Retrieves the current registered SendBirdUIKit adapter.


Imports your custom user list. If this isn’t implemented, the list of all users in the Sendbird server are displayed.


Connects to Sendbird server and updates your profile.

* With local caching added to the core SDK, the latest user instance may be returned through the callback even though the user is not connected to the server. To learn more about connecting to Sendbird server, go to Authentication.


Disconnects from Sendbird server.


Updates user information for profile display.


Sets the handler for common custom.


Returns the custom params handler.


Determines whether the user profile is used.


Returns the set value regarding the use of user profile.


Determines whether to compress the image when sending an image file message. This method only applies to the following image types: image/jpg, image/jpeg, and image/png. (Default: false)


Retrieves the set value of setUseImageCompression() on whether the image should be compressed when sending it as an image file message.


Sets the value of the compression rate to apply to the image. Acceptable values are 0 to 100, inclusive. (Default: 100)


Retrieves the set value of the compression rate to apply to the image.


Sets the new width and height to apply to the image. The given value is shown in the order of the width first, then the height. (Default: 1080x1920)

* When displaying the compressed image as a thumbnail, the value of the new width and height will be halved. The minimum value for the compressed thumbnail is 100x100.


Retrieves the resized width and height to apply to the image.


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Listed below are the methods of the SendBirdUIKitAdapter class:



Retrieves the APP_ID of your Sendbird application.


Retrieves the information of the current user


Retrieves the access token of the current user, which is required to provide in the SendBirdUIKit.init() method. Using the Platform API, you can create a user along with their own access token, or issue an access token to an existing user. If you don’t want to use an access token, you must specify the return value of the UserInfo.getUserID() in the SendBirdUIKitAdapter.getUserInfo() instead. (Default: USER_ID)


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Listed below are the methods of the UserInfo class:



Retrieves the ID of the current user that has been registered to Sendbird server.


Retrieves the current user's nickname. If the nickname hasn’t been set, USER ID is used instead by default.


Retrieves the URL of the current user's profile image.

Additional components

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The UIKit also provides the following components. All components can be called while fragments and activities are running on the Android platform.

List of components

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Shows all channels a user has joined.


Shows the current channel a user has joined. From this component, users can send or receive messages.


Shows all the users of your client app so you can create a channel. Users can be selected from this component to begin chatting.


Shows all the users of your client app from the current channel so you can invite other users to join.


Changes the channel information.


Shows the list of members in the current channel.


Shows the list of members in the current channel whom you can promote as an operator.


Shows the list of members who are banned from the current channel.


Shows the list of moderation options for the current channel.


Shows the list of members who are muted in the current channel.


Shows the list of members who are appointed as an operator in the current channel.