/ UIKit / Android
Chat UIKit Android v3
Chat UIKit Android
Chat UIKit
Version 3

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, 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.


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The minimum requirements for UIKit for Android are:

  • Android 5.0 (API level 21) or higher
  • Java 8 or higher
  • Support androidx only
  • Android Gradle plugin 4.0.1 or higher
  • Sendbird Chat SDK for Android 4.0.3 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 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 android.support.libraries is unchecked.
  6. Select minimum API level as 21 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 "https://jitpack.io" }
        maven { url "https://repo.sendbird.com/public/maven" }

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 "https://jitpack.io" }
        maven { url "https://repo.sendbird.com/public/maven" }

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: 'com.android.application'

android {
    buildFeatures {
        viewBinding 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:3.+'

Before saving the build.gradle file, check if you’ve enabled viewBinding. 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 android.app.Application

import com.sendbird.android.exception.SendbirdException
import com.sendbird.android.handler.InitResultHandler
import com.sendbird.uikit.SendbirdUIKit
import com.sendbird.uikit.adapter.SendbirdUIKitAdapter
import com.sendbird.uikit.interfaces.UserInfo

class BaseApplication : Application() {
    override fun onCreate() {

        SendbirdUIKit.init(object : SendbirdUIKitAdapter {
            override fun getAppId(): String {
                return "YOUR_APP_ID" // Specify your Sendbird application ID.

            override fun getAccessToken(): String {
                return ""

            override fun getUserInfo(): UserInfo {
                return object : UserInfo {
                    override fun getUserId(): String {
                        return "USER_ID" // Specify your user ID.

                    override fun getNickname(): String {
                        return "USER_NICKNAME" // Specify your user nickname.

                    override fun getProfileUrl(): String {
                        return ""

            override fun getInitResultHandler(): InitResultHandler {
                return object : InitResultHandler {
                    override fun onMigrationStarted() {
                        // DB migration has started.

                    override fun onInitFailed(e: SendbirdException) {
                        // If DB migration fails, this method is called.

                    override fun 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="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"

    <!--  sets android:name  -->
        <activity android:name=".YourMainActivity">
                <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.

import com.sendbird.uikit.activities.ChannelListActivity

class MainActivity : 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.