A complete guide to building a chat application for Android 


The Internet is the most preferred mode of communication in 2023. Its ease of connecting with people at the tap of a button from anywhere in the world is contributing to the increase in usage. Globally, there were 1,023 million internet users in 2005, and it reached 2,954 million in 2015. Post the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and everything going online, the numbers shot up to 4,585 million in 2020 and 5,300 million in 2022.

Messaging applications are the primary facilitators of communication on the Internet. They are used for personal, informal, and sometimes even for official communication. Globally, there were 2.25 billion mobile messaging users which increased to 3.21 billion in 2022. As a business owner, if you intend to capitalize on this market regardless of the industry you are in, now is the right time.

What is a chat application?

An online platform and mobile application that facilitates its users to communicate with each other through text messaging in real-time with the use of the internet is termed as chat application. Chat app providers enable its users to use it on their smartphone as an app and on the desktop/laptop as a web version on popular web browsers.

How do chat applications work?

Users of a chat application can communicate with each other on the app. So, in order to use a chat app, one has to register on the application as a user and login to their account on the app. A text box appears on the screen of the user wherein the user can type the message and press ‘send’ or any relevant button on the app to send the message to the intended user.

Technically, when you develop a white-label chat app for Android it is run on a centralized network that enables for two or more people to communicate in real time. This network is served by the platform operator server that you choose for your business.

Reasons why businesses must build chat apps on Android

Apart from the fact that Android OS is the most widely used in smartphones operated by people across the world, there are some major reasons why businesses benefit immensely by developing apps in it. Let’s discuss more on that below.

  • Since Android is open-source, advanced features can be developed for users.
  • Any mobile phone manufacturer in the world can produce smartphones for Android OS. This increases the likelihood of people using your customizable chat app for Android.
  • People can purchase any smartphone that suits their budget thereby increasing the number of potential users for your app.
  • It gives room for developers to experiment with the functionality of the app.
  • Firebase cloud messaging of Google services can be utilized to store, perform authentication requests, manage and send push notifications to its users’ devices.
  • Google Play can be utilized to distribute your white-label messaging app. Services such as analytics, news updates, accessibility functions, purchases, etc.can be made use of.

GPS functionality can be added when you build a chat app for Android by using Google Maps API.

Steps to build a chat application on android

Follow the steps outlined below to develop a chat application in Android.

1: Download the updated version of Android Studio IDE.

2: Create a project and select your language – Java or Kotlin.

3: Name the package of your Android mobile application.

4: Hit the ‘create’ button and initiate development.

5: Use Google’s Code Labs tutorials and integrate Google services.

6: Use the Jetpack Compose toolkit to build a native UI.

7: Install relevant plugins that will facilitate the development of your chat app.

Examples of Android chat apps

With over 15,000 chat applications running in the market worldwide, it is only the most competent players that manage to retain the top spots. To ensure that either your chat app or your white label instant messaging app for Android is used by a broad audience, there are a few considerations to make. They are as follows.

  • Conduct market research to understand the current needs of your target audience.
  • Examine your competitors’ products and what their consumers have to say about them.
  • Build a chat app with all the features that your target audience requires and deliver a seamless user experience.
  • Engage with your users and build a relationship with your prospective customers through different mediums of communication.

Businesses that have followed the above have chat apps that are used by people across the world. Popular chat apps in android that are used globally are listed below.

  1. WhatsApp
  2. Facebook Messenger
  3. Telegram
  4. Viber
  5. Line
  6. Snapchat

Top use cases for mobile chat applications for Android

The top use cases for android chat applications are listed below.

  1. Marketplaces where the buyer and seller require direct interaction in order to close a deal.
  2. On-demand services.
  3. Telehealth industry.

Last words

You are now equipped with all the information you require to develop a customizable mobile chat application in Android for your users. Facilitating communication for their users is a top priority for business owners.

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