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

Send your first message

Copy link

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.


Copy link

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

Copy link

In this quickstart guide, you will be installing Sendbird SDK, implementing codes to create a open channel with a user, and send a message within a few minutes. Before you start, you need to have the following:

Create a Sendbird application from dashboard

Copy link

A Sendbird application 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.

  1. Go to Sendbird Dashboard and create an account for a free trial. If you already have a Sendbird account, sign into your account.

  2. Create a new application by clicking Create + at the bottom right of your screen.

  3. Enter a name for your application. Choose a Product Type and Region. Then, click Confirm.

  4. Click the application you just created under Applications. You will see the application's Application ID which you will need 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.

Create a user in the Sendbird application

Copy link

In order to send a message, you need a user in a channel. You can either create a user on the Sendbird dashboard first or you can use a new unique ID that hasn’t been taken by any of your Sendbird application users. In the latter case, a new user is automatically created in your Sendbird application before being connected.

In this guide, we will create a user on the Sendbird dashboard first.

  1. Go to the Users menu on the left-hand side of the dashboard and click Create user+.

  2. Enter the User ID and Nickname. It is recommended that you check the box next to Issue access token for user authentication. Then, click Create.

Note: Sendbird supports user authentication through access token for stronger security. However, on the dashboard, you can also configure the token permission in Settings > Application > Security > Access token permission to allow users without a token to access our functionalities. To learn more, see Authentication.

  1. Copy and store the user ID. You will use it to connect to the Sendbird server.

Get started

Copy link

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

Copy link

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 2-1 Install UIKit - Configuring the repository

Copy link

You can install UIKit for Android through Gradle.

Gradle 6.8 or higher

Copy link

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

dependencyResolutionManagement {
    repositories {
        maven { setUrl("https://jitpack.io") }
        maven { setUrl("https://repo.sendbird.com/public/maven") }

Gradle 6.7 or lower

Copy link

If you are using Gradle 6.7 or lower, add the following code to your root build.gradle file:

allprojects {
    repositories {
        maven { setUrl("https://jitpack.io") }
        maven { setUrl("https://repo.sendbird.com/public/maven") }

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

Step 2-2 Install UIKit - Adding the Dependency

Copy link

Add the dependency to your module build.gradle file.

plugins {

android {
    buildFeatures {
        viewBinding = true

    compileOptions {
        sourceCompatibility = JavaVersion.VERSION_1_8
        targetCompatibility = JavaVersion.VERSION_1_8

dependencies {

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

Copy link

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 initialized and run migration if needed. As a result, 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 initialize, the onInitFailed() method is called. If the database initializes, the onInitSucceed() method is called and you can proceed to the next step. Refer to the updated code below.

Here, you will need to define YOUR_APP_ID and USER_ID for proper functioning of the kit.

  • YOUR_APP_ID: you can find this on the Overview page on Sendbird dashboard.

  • USER_ID: the unique ID set to the user you've created on the dashboard. If you haven't created a user in advance, specifying a unique USER_ID in the code snippet provided will automatically generate a new user in the specified Sendbird application and connect it to the Sendbird server.

Note: Sendbird supports user authentication via access tokens, but defaults to allowing access without a token for ease of initial use. For enhanced security, we recommend adjusting the access settings of new users under Settings > Application > Security > Access token permission on the dashboard. To learn about authentication, see the Authentication guide.

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"
                        // Use the ID of a user you've created on the dashboard.
                        // If there isn't one, specify a unique ID so that a new user can be created with the value.

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

                    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

Copy link

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  -->
                <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />
                <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />

Step 5 Display channel list

Copy link

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

Copy link

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.