In the 1st part, we have learned how to build the socket server and the web chat app. We also did tested the socket server using the web app.

In this part we are going to build the next important component, i.e. android chat app. The app we are about to create will have two screens. The first screen will prompt the user to enter his/her name. This name is to identify the sender whenever a message is received. The second screen is to list the chat messages and to compose a new message.

So let’s start the app by creating a new android project in Eclipse IDE.

android building chat app using java sockets

6. Building The Android Chat App

1. In Eclipse create new android project by navigating to File ⇒ New ⇒ Android Application Project and fill out all the required details.

I gave my project name as WebMobileGroupChat and package name as
info.androidhive.webgroupchat.

2. Add the below color values in res ⇒ values ⇒ colors.xml file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<resources>
    <color name="actionbar">#3cb879</color>
    <color name="body_background">#e8e8e8</color>
    <color name="body_background_green">#82e783</color>
    <color name="server_status_bar">#2b2b2b</color>
    <color name="title_gray">#434343</color>
    <color name="white">#ffffff</color>
    <color name="bg_msg_you">#5eb964</color>
    <color name="bg_msg_from">#e5e7eb</color>
    <color name="msg_border_color">#a1a1a1</color>
    <color name="bg_btn_join">#1e6258</color>
    <color name="bg_msg_input">#e8e8e8</color>
    <color name="text_msg_input">#626262</color>
    <color name="lblFromName">#777777</color>
</resources>

3. Also add the below string values in res ⇒ values ⇒ strings.xml file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<resources>

    <string name="app_name">WebMobileGroupChat</string>
    <string name="title">(Android WebSockets Chat App)</string>
    <string name="author_name">By Ravi Tamada</string>
    <string name="author_url">www.androidhive.info</string>
    <string name="enter_name">Enter your name</string>
    <string name="btn_join">JOIN</string>
    <string name="btn_send">Send</string>

</resources>

4. Edit styles.xml located under res ⇒ values ⇒ styles.xml and add below styles. Here we are adding the styles for the action bar.

<resources>
 
    <style name="ChatAppTheme" parent="@android:style/Theme.Holo.Light">
        <item name="android:actionBarStyle">@style/MyActionBarTheme</item>
    </style>
 
    <style name="MyActionBarTheme" parent="@android:style/Widget.Holo.Light.ActionBar">
        <item name="android:background">@color/actionbar</item>
        <item name="android:titleTextStyle">@style/TitleTextStyle</item>
    </style>
    
     <style name="TitleTextStyle" parent="android:TextAppearance.Holo.Widget.ActionBar.Title">
        <item name="android:textColor">@color/white</item>
    </style>
 
</resources>

5. Now we need an activity to take the username that is required when connecting to socket server. So under res ⇒ layout folder create an xml file named activity_name.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    android:background="@color/actionbar"
    android:orientation="vertical" >

    <ImageView
        android:id="@+id/imgLogo"
        android:layout_width="60dp"
        android:layout_height="60dp"
        android:layout_alignParentTop="true"
        android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"
        android:layout_gravity="center_horizontal"
        android:layout_marginBottom="10dp"
        android:layout_marginTop="60dp"
        android:src="@drawable/ic_launcher" />

    <TextView
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_below="@id/imgLogo"
        android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"
        android:layout_marginTop="15dp"
        android:text="@string/title"
        android:textColor="@color/white"
        android:textSize="13dp" />

    <LinearLayout
        android:layout_width="fill_parent"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_centerInParent="true"
        android:gravity="center_horizontal"
        android:orientation="vertical"
        android:padding="20dp" >

        <TextView
            android:layout_width="wrap_content"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:layout_marginBottom="10dp"
            android:layout_marginTop="15dp"
            android:text="@string/enter_name"
            android:textColor="@color/white"
            android:textSize="18dp" />

        <EditText
            android:id="@+id/name"
            android:layout_width="fill_parent"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:layout_marginBottom="10dp"
            android:layout_marginTop="10dp"
            android:background="@color/white"
            android:inputType="textCapWords"
            android:padding="10dp" />

        <Button
            android:id="@+id/btnJoin"
            android:layout_width="wrap_content"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:layout_marginTop="40dp"
            android:background="@color/bg_btn_join"
            android:paddingLeft="25dp"
            android:paddingRight="25dp"
            android:text="@string/btn_join"
            android:textColor="@color/white" />
    </LinearLayout>

    <!-- author info -->

    <LinearLayout
        android:layout_width="fill_parent"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_alignParentBottom="true"
        android:layout_marginBottom="20dp"
        android:gravity="center_horizontal"
        android:orientation="vertical" >

        <TextView
            android:layout_width="wrap_content"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:text="@string/author_name"
            android:textColor="@color/white"
            android:textSize="12dp" />

        <TextView
            android:layout_width="wrap_content"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:text="@string/author_url"
            android:textColor="@color/white"
            android:textSize="12dp" />
    </LinearLayout>

</RelativeLayout>

6. Create a new activity named NameActivity.java under project’s main package. In this activity we don’t handle anything complex. We just take the user input from EditText and send it to other activity.

package info.androidhive.webgroupchat;

import android.app.Activity;
import android.content.Intent;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.Button;
import android.widget.EditText;
import android.widget.Toast;

public class NameActivity extends Activity {

	private Button btnJoin;
	private EditText txtName;

	@Override
	protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
		super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
		setContentView(R.layout.activity_name);

		btnJoin = (Button) findViewById(R.id.btnJoin);
		txtName = (EditText) findViewById(R.id.name);

		// Hiding the action bar
		getActionBar().hide();

		btnJoin.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {

			@Override
			public void onClick(View v) {
				if (txtName.getText().toString().trim().length() > 0) {

					String name = txtName.getText().toString().trim();

					Intent intent = new Intent(NameActivity.this,
							MainActivity.class);
					intent.putExtra("name", name);

					startActivity(intent);

				} else {
					Toast.makeText(getApplicationContext(),
							"Please enter your name", Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();
				}
			}
		});
	}
}

7. Finally make NameActivity.java as launcher activity in AndroidManifest.xml. Also add INTERNET permission as we need to make internet calls. This is how your manifest file should look like.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    package="info.androidhive.webgroupchat"
    android:versionCode="1"
    android:versionName="1.0" >

    <uses-sdk
        android:minSdkVersion="13"
        android:targetSdkVersion="21" />

    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />

    <application
        android:allowBackup="true"
        android:icon="@drawable/ic_launcher"
        android:label="@string/app_name"
        android:theme="@style/ChatAppTheme" >
        <activity
            android:name=".NameActivity"
            android:label="@string/app_name"
            android:windowSoftInputMode="adjustPan" >
            <intent-filter>
                <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />

                <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />
            </intent-filter>
        </activity>
        <activity
            android:name=".MainActivity"
            android:screenOrientation="portrait" >
        </activity>
    </application>

</manifest>

After doing the above changes, if you run the app, you should see the name activity launched as first activity. Below is the output of name activity where user can enter their name and move to next activity.

android building chat app using java sockets

Before going to implement sockets, I would like to create few resource files first which required to create messages interface.

8. Download this background image and paste it in project’s res ⇒ drawable folder. (If you don’t see drawable folder, create a new one and name it as drawable). This image will be used as background repeat image for the chat conversation.

9. Create 3 new xml files under drawable folder named tile_bg.xml, bg_msg_from.xml and bg_msg_you.xml and add below codes. These drawable xml files are used as background for chat messages.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<bitmap xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
  android:src="@drawable/bg_messages" 
  android:tileMode="repeat" />
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<shape xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:shape="rectangle" >

    <!-- view background color -->
    <solid android:color="@color/bg_msg_from" >
    </solid>

    <corners android:radius="5dp" >
    </corners>

</shape>
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<shape xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:shape="rectangle" >

    <!-- view background color -->
    <solid android:color="@color/bg_msg_you" >
    </solid>

    <corners android:radius="5dp" >
    </corners>

</shape>

10. Now under res ⇒ layout folder create two more xml files named list_item_message_left.xml and list_item_message_right.xml. These two layout files are used to align chat messages on left and right in the list view.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    android:orientation="vertical"
    android:paddingBottom="5dp"
    android:paddingTop="5dp" 
    android:paddingLeft="10dp">

    <TextView
        android:id="@+id/lblMsgFrom"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:textSize="12dp"
        android:textColor="@color/lblFromName"
        android:textStyle="italic" 
        android:padding="5dp"/>

    <TextView
        android:id="@+id/txtMsg"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:textSize="16dp"
        android:layout_marginRight="80dp"
        android:textColor="@color/title_gray"
        android:paddingLeft="10dp"
        android:paddingRight="10dp"
        android:paddingTop="5dp"
        android:paddingBottom="5dp"
        android:background="@drawable/bg_msg_from"/>

</LinearLayout>
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    android:gravity="right"
    android:orientation="vertical"
    android:paddingBottom="5dp"
    android:paddingRight="10dp"
    android:paddingTop="5dp" >

    <TextView
        android:id="@+id/lblMsgFrom"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:padding="5dp"
        android:textColor="@color/lblFromName"
        android:textSize="12dp"
        android:textStyle="italic" />

    <TextView
        android:id="@+id/txtMsg"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_marginLeft="80dp"
        android:background="@drawable/bg_msg_you"
        android:paddingBottom="5dp"
        android:paddingLeft="10dp"
        android:paddingRight="10dp"
        android:paddingTop="5dp"
        android:textColor="@color/white"
        android:textSize="16dp" />

</LinearLayout>

11. Now we need to create another layout to list all the chat messages and an option to compose a new message. Create another layout activity_main.xml and add below code.

<LinearLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    xmlns:tools="http://schemas.android.com/tools"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    android:background="@drawable/tile_bg"
    android:orientation="vertical" >

    <ListView
        android:id="@+id/list_view_messages"
        android:layout_width="fill_parent"
        android:layout_height="0dp"
        android:layout_weight="1"
        android:background="@null"
        android:divider="@null"
        android:transcriptMode="alwaysScroll" 
        android:stackFromBottom="true">
    </ListView>

    <LinearLayout
        android:id="@+id/llMsgCompose"
        android:layout_width="fill_parent"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:background="@color/white"
        android:orientation="horizontal"
        android:weightSum="3" >

        <EditText
            android:id="@+id/inputMsg"
            android:layout_width="0dp"
            android:layout_height="fill_parent"
            android:layout_weight="2"
            android:background="@color/bg_msg_input"
            android:textColor="@color/text_msg_input"
            android:paddingLeft="6dp"
            android:paddingRight="6dp"/>

        <Button
            android:id="@+id/btnSend"
            android:layout_width="0dp"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:layout_weight="1"
            android:background="@color/bg_btn_join"
            android:textColor="@color/white" 
            android:text="@string/btn_send" />
    </LinearLayout>

</LinearLayout>

12. With the above step, the creation of layout resources is done. Now we’ll quickly create few helper classes. In your project create a new package and name it as other.

After creating the new package my package name will be info.androidhive.webgroupchat.other.

13. In other package, create a class named Utils.java and add below code. This class contains methods to save the user’s session id in shared preferences.

package info.androidhive.webgroupchat.other;

import org.json.JSONException;
import org.json.JSONObject;

import android.content.Context;
import android.content.SharedPreferences;
import android.content.SharedPreferences.Editor;

public class Utils {

	private Context context;
	private SharedPreferences sharedPref;

	private static final String KEY_SHARED_PREF = "ANDROID_WEB_CHAT";
	private static final int KEY_MODE_PRIVATE = 0;
	private static final String KEY_SESSION_ID = "sessionId",
			FLAG_MESSAGE = "message";

	public Utils(Context context) {
		this.context = context;
		sharedPref = this.context.getSharedPreferences(KEY_SHARED_PREF,
				KEY_MODE_PRIVATE);
	}

	public void storeSessionId(String sessionId) {
		Editor editor = sharedPref.edit();
		editor.putString(KEY_SESSION_ID, sessionId);
		editor.commit();
	}

	public String getSessionId() {
		return sharedPref.getString(KEY_SESSION_ID, null);
	}

	public String getSendMessageJSON(String message) {
		String json = null;

		try {
			JSONObject jObj = new JSONObject();
			jObj.put("flag", FLAG_MESSAGE);
			jObj.put("sessionId", getSessionId());
			jObj.put("message", message);

			json = jObj.toString();
		} catch (JSONException e) {
			e.printStackTrace();
		}

		return json;
	}

}

14. Create another class named Message.java. This model class defines each chat message where it contains message id, text and a boolean flag (isSelf) to define message owner. Using this boolean flag we’ll align message left or right in the list view.

package info.androidhive.webgroupchat.other;

public class Message {
	private String fromName, message;
	private boolean isSelf;

	public Message() {
	}

	public Message(String fromName, String message, boolean isSelf) {
		this.fromName = fromName;
		this.message = message;
		this.isSelf = isSelf;
	}

	public String getFromName() {
		return fromName;
	}

	public void setFromName(String fromName) {
		this.fromName = fromName;
	}

	public String getMessage() {
		return message;
	}

	public void setMessage(String message) {
		this.message = message;
	}

	public boolean isSelf() {
		return isSelf;
	}

	public void setSelf(boolean isSelf) {
		this.isSelf = isSelf;
	}

}

15. Create a class named WsConfig.java. This is where we define socket configuration i.e the socket url, port number and end point.

package info.androidhive.webgroupchat.other;

public class WsConfig {
	public static final String URL_WEBSOCKET = "ws://192.168.0.102:8080/WebMobileGroupChatServer/chat?name=";
}

16. Now under your main package create a class named MessagesListAdapter.java to implement the custom list view adapter class. This class plays a major role in rendering the list by aligning the chat messages left or right.

package info.androidhive.webgroupchat;

import info.androidhive.webgroupchat.other.Message;

import java.util.List;

import android.annotation.SuppressLint;
import android.app.Activity;
import android.content.Context;
import android.view.LayoutInflater;
import android.view.View;
import android.view.ViewGroup;
import android.widget.BaseAdapter;
import android.widget.TextView;

public class MessagesListAdapter extends BaseAdapter {

	private Context context;
	private List<Message> messagesItems;

	public MessagesListAdapter(Context context, List<Message> navDrawerItems) {
		this.context = context;
		this.messagesItems = navDrawerItems;
	}

	@Override
	public int getCount() {
		return messagesItems.size();
	}

	@Override
	public Object getItem(int position) {
		return messagesItems.get(position);
	}

	@Override
	public long getItemId(int position) {
		return position;
	}

	@SuppressLint("InflateParams")
	@Override
	public View getView(int position, View convertView, ViewGroup parent) {

		/**
		 * The following list not implemented reusable list items as list items
		 * are showing incorrect data Add the solution if you have one
		 * */

		Message m = messagesItems.get(position);

		LayoutInflater mInflater = (LayoutInflater) context
				.getSystemService(Activity.LAYOUT_INFLATER_SERVICE);

		// Identifying the message owner
		if (messagesItems.get(position).isSelf()) {
			// message belongs to you, so load the right aligned layout
			convertView = mInflater.inflate(R.layout.list_item_message_right,
					null);
		} else {
			// message belongs to other person, load the left aligned layout
			convertView = mInflater.inflate(R.layout.list_item_message_left,
					null);
		}

		TextView lblFrom = (TextView) convertView.findViewById(R.id.lblMsgFrom);
		TextView txtMsg = (TextView) convertView.findViewById(R.id.txtMsg);

		txtMsg.setText(m.getMessage());
		lblFrom.setText(m.getFromName());

		return convertView;
	}
}

17. Download the android websockets library and extract somewhere. Thanks to Koush for writing such a useful library.

18. Import the downloaded android websockets library into Eclipse workspace. Goto File ⇒ Import ⇒ Android ⇒ Existing Android Code Into Workspace and select the downloaded library project home directory.

19. Now add this project as a Library to our project. Right Click on project ⇒ Properties ⇒ Android (on left) ⇒ Add (on right, under Library section) and select the imported project.

android-adding-library-project

20. Finally open the main activity class (MainActivity.java) do the below changes. The below code very simple and everything is self explanatory.

> A web socket is created using WebSocketClient class and it has all the callback methods like onConnect, onMessage and onDisconnect.

> In onMessage method parseMessage() is called to parse the JSON received from the socket server.

> In parseMessage() method, the purpose of JSON is identified by reading the flag value.

> When a new message is received, the message is added to list view data source and adapter.notifyDataSetChanged() is called to update the chat list.

> sendMessageToServer() method is used to send the message from android device to socket server.

> playBeep() method is called to play device’s default notification sound whenever a new message is received.

package info.androidhive.webgroupchat;

import info.androidhive.webgroupchat.other.Message;
import info.androidhive.webgroupchat.other.Utils;
import info.androidhive.webgroupchat.other.WsConfig;

import java.net.URI;
import java.net.URLEncoder;
import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;
import java.util.Locale;

import org.json.JSONException;
import org.json.JSONObject;

import android.app.Activity;
import android.content.Intent;
import android.media.Ringtone;
import android.media.RingtoneManager;
import android.net.Uri;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.util.Log;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.Button;
import android.widget.EditText;
import android.widget.ListView;
import android.widget.Toast;

import com.codebutler.android_websockets.WebSocketClient;

public class MainActivity extends Activity {

	// LogCat tag
	private static final String TAG = MainActivity.class.getSimpleName();

	private Button btnSend;
	private EditText inputMsg;

	private WebSocketClient client;

	// Chat messages list adapter
	private MessagesListAdapter adapter;
	private List<Message> listMessages;
	private ListView listViewMessages;

	private Utils utils;

	// Client name
	private String name = null;

	// JSON flags to identify the kind of JSON response
	private static final String TAG_SELF = "self", TAG_NEW = "new",
			TAG_MESSAGE = "message", TAG_EXIT = "exit";

	@Override
	protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
		super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
		setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);

		btnSend = (Button) findViewById(R.id.btnSend);
		inputMsg = (EditText) findViewById(R.id.inputMsg);
		listViewMessages = (ListView) findViewById(R.id.list_view_messages);

		utils = new Utils(getApplicationContext());

		// Getting the person name from previous screen
		Intent i = getIntent();
		name = i.getStringExtra("name");

		btnSend.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {

			@Override
			public void onClick(View v) {
				// Sending message to web socket server
				sendMessageToServer(utils.getSendMessageJSON(inputMsg.getText()
						.toString()));

				// Clearing the input filed once message was sent
				inputMsg.setText("");
			}
		});

		listMessages = new ArrayList<Message>();

		adapter = new MessagesListAdapter(this, listMessages);
		listViewMessages.setAdapter(adapter);

		/**
		 * Creating web socket client. This will have callback methods
		 * */
		client = new WebSocketClient(URI.create(WsConfig.URL_WEBSOCKET
				+ URLEncoder.encode(name)), new WebSocketClient.Listener() {
			@Override
			public void onConnect() {

			}

			/**
			 * On receiving the message from web socket server
			 * */
			@Override
			public void onMessage(String message) {
				Log.d(TAG, String.format("Got string message! %s", message));

				parseMessage(message);

			}

			@Override
			public void onMessage(byte[] data) {
				Log.d(TAG, String.format("Got binary message! %s",
						bytesToHex(data)));

				// Message will be in JSON format
				parseMessage(bytesToHex(data));
			}

			/**
			 * Called when the connection is terminated
			 * */
			@Override
			public void onDisconnect(int code, String reason) {

				String message = String.format(Locale.US,
						"Disconnected! Code: %d Reason: %s", code, reason);

				showToast(message);

				// clear the session id from shared preferences
				utils.storeSessionId(null);
			}

			@Override
			public void onError(Exception error) {
				Log.e(TAG, "Error! : " + error);

				showToast("Error! : " + error);
			}

		}, null);

		client.connect();
	}

	/**
	 * Method to send message to web socket server
	 * */
	private void sendMessageToServer(String message) {
		if (client != null && client.isConnected()) {
			client.send(message);
		}
	}

	/**
	 * Parsing the JSON message received from server The intent of message will
	 * be identified by JSON node 'flag'. flag = self, message belongs to the
	 * person. flag = new, a new person joined the conversation. flag = message,
	 * a new message received from server. flag = exit, somebody left the
	 * conversation.
	 * */
	private void parseMessage(final String msg) {

		try {
			JSONObject jObj = new JSONObject(msg);

			// JSON node 'flag'
			String flag = jObj.getString("flag");

			// if flag is 'self', this JSON contains session id
			if (flag.equalsIgnoreCase(TAG_SELF)) {

				String sessionId = jObj.getString("sessionId");

				// Save the session id in shared preferences
				utils.storeSessionId(sessionId);

				Log.e(TAG, "Your session id: " + utils.getSessionId());

			} else if (flag.equalsIgnoreCase(TAG_NEW)) {
				// If the flag is 'new', new person joined the room
				String name = jObj.getString("name");
				String message = jObj.getString("message");

				// number of people online
				String onlineCount = jObj.getString("onlineCount");

				showToast(name + message + ". Currently " + onlineCount
						+ " people online!");

			} else if (flag.equalsIgnoreCase(TAG_MESSAGE)) {
				// if the flag is 'message', new message received
				String fromName = name;
				String message = jObj.getString("message");
				String sessionId = jObj.getString("sessionId");
				boolean isSelf = true;

				// Checking if the message was sent by you
				if (!sessionId.equals(utils.getSessionId())) {
					fromName = jObj.getString("name");
					isSelf = false;
				}

				Message m = new Message(fromName, message, isSelf);

				// Appending the message to chat list
				appendMessage(m);

			} else if (flag.equalsIgnoreCase(TAG_EXIT)) {
				// If the flag is 'exit', somebody left the conversation
				String name = jObj.getString("name");
				String message = jObj.getString("message");

				showToast(name + message);
			}

		} catch (JSONException e) {
			e.printStackTrace();
		}

	}

	@Override
	protected void onDestroy() {
		super.onDestroy();
		
		if(client != null & client.isConnected()){
			client.disconnect();
		}
	}

	/**
	 * Appending message to list view
	 * */
	private void appendMessage(final Message m) {
		runOnUiThread(new Runnable() {

			@Override
			public void run() {
				listMessages.add(m);

				adapter.notifyDataSetChanged();

				// Playing device's notification
				playBeep();
			}
		});
	}

	private void showToast(final String message) {

		runOnUiThread(new Runnable() {

			@Override
			public void run() {
				Toast.makeText(getApplicationContext(), message,
						Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();
			}
		});

	}

	/**
	 * Plays device's default notification sound
	 * */
	public void playBeep() {

		try {
			Uri notification = RingtoneManager
					.getDefaultUri(RingtoneManager.TYPE_NOTIFICATION);
			Ringtone r = RingtoneManager.getRingtone(getApplicationContext(),
					notification);
			r.play();
		} catch (Exception e) {
			e.printStackTrace();
		}
	}

	final protected static char[] hexArray = "0123456789ABCDEF".toCharArray();

	public static String bytesToHex(byte[] bytes) {
		char[] hexChars = new char[bytes.length * 2];
		for (int j = 0; j < bytes.length; j++) {
			int v = bytes[j] & 0xFF;
			hexChars[j * 2] = hexArray[v >>> 4];
			hexChars[j * 2 + 1] = hexArray[v & 0x0F];
		}
		return new String(hexChars);
	}

}

Now if you run the app, you can see the below screen as main activity output.

android building chat app like whatsapp

With this we have completed the android app part too.

7. Testing the Web and Android App

To test the android app you need two android mobiles or you can just use one android mobile and a web app. Follow below steps to test the android app.

1. Make sure that all your devices are connected to same wifi network. If you are using two android mobiles, connect them to same wifi network.

2. Get the ip address of the machine on which socket server is running. Follow 2nd step in Part1 tutorial to get the ip address of your machine.

3. Replace the ip address in WsConfig.java and main.js with your machine IP address.

4. Deploy the app on to android devices. If you are testing the app using web and android apps, open both the apps and test.

android-building-the-chat-app

The same conversation can be seen on web app too.

androd-chat-app-dad-mom-son

I hope everyone could able to build the app without any hurdles. If you have any queries or suggestions, please do let me know in the comment section below.

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Sébastien Kondov
Sébastien Kondov
5 years ago

Great tutorial 🙂 Long time i wanted to see that. Thank you

Marcos Campos
Marcos Campos
5 years ago

rav você é foda!

moez
moez
5 years ago

Hey thanks bro, but i would ask something How can i store & retrieve image in database table (MySQL) especially when i use listview with user picture .

Alex
Alex
5 years ago
Reply to  moez

in the server mysql to store the URL of the image stored in your server, after the client with android you just fetch the url and download the image

moez
moez
5 years ago
Reply to  Alex

But i don’t want to use url
Just tables.

mahdi
mahdi
5 years ago

How to chat between two android with internet 3g or 2g

Malaika Khan
Malaika Khan
5 years ago

Ravi please share the link of your videos thanks

Ulhas Patil
Ulhas Patil
5 years ago

Wow Great Tutorial Ravi…..
Ravi don’t you have video tutorials to get more knowledge..?
Please share the link of them…

Ravi Tamada
5 years ago
Reply to  Ulhas Patil

Sorry Ulhas, I don’t have video tutorials!

Ulhas Patil
Ulhas Patil
5 years ago
Reply to  Ravi Tamada

Thanks Ravi for your Reply..,
If you are Planning to do that in future then Please Please let us know…

Thanks in Advance…. 🙂

Shan
Shan
5 years ago
Reply to  Ravi Tamada

What if we want to android to android chat please guide

Venkata Prasad
Venkata Prasad
5 years ago

Thanks Ravi,
From long time, I am looking for this.

jp
jp
5 years ago

I get as far as trying to run the server and get 404.

HTTP Status 404 – /WebMobileGroupChatServer/

type Status report

message /WebMobileGroupChatServer/

description The requested resource is not available.

jp
jp
5 years ago
Reply to  jp

from stackoverflow, this solved it for me,

Click on Window > Show view > Server OR right click on the server in “Servers” view, select “Properties”.
In the “General” panel, click on the “Switch Location” button.
The “Location: [workspace metadata]” should replace by something else.
Open the Overview screen for the server by double clicking it.
In the Server locations tab , select “Use Tomcat location”.
Save the configurations and restart the Server.

Ray
Ray
5 years ago

Excellent work man, Got it all up and running in less than an hour with next to no java / droid experience. If you would like some paid work please get in touch.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago

How To Set it up for godaddy hosting ??

Ravi Tamada
5 years ago
Reply to  Guest

You need to check their checklist whether they are providing sockets support or not.

Mohd Riyas
Mohd Riyas
5 years ago

totally error in android app project..!! give me a solution??

s.shivasurya
5 years ago

you can use socket.io ! node.js instead of TCP scoket! for backend!

daksh
daksh
5 years ago

Hi Ravi

Thanks for the tutorial, can we use PHP as server side instead of java ?

Ravi Tamada
5 years ago
Reply to  daksh
ras
ras
5 years ago
Reply to  Ravi Tamada

what is the format of the download files?

Srikanth Munaga
Srikanth Munaga
5 years ago

Then how we can do if they are using different Ip’s

Andrew
Andrew
5 years ago

Is it possible for you to make some material design tutorials

Naveed
Naveed
5 years ago

Brilliant tutorial, can there be a login and register sytem? it would be wonderful!

Alex
Alex
5 years ago

Great tutorial! Works fine, but i have one error when username is in cyrillic.

For name “Алексей”, serverside threw to me this:
__
SEVERE: Servlet.service() for servlet [default] in context with path [/WebMobileGroupChatServer] threw exception
java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: java.net.URISyntaxException: Illegal character in query at index 37: /WebMobileGroupChatServer/chat?name=???»?µ?????µ??
__

In mobile app I’ve tried to edit code in Main.activity and replace URLEncoder.encode(name) with URLEncoder.encode(name, “UTF-8”) , but it doesn’t help me =

Any suggestions how to solve it?(

Arken
Arken
5 years ago

We can make it work on desktop? Any suggest?

Kelvin
Kelvin
5 years ago

i am getting the following error

org.apache.http.client.HttpResponseException: Not Found

any clue what the issue would be?

Raja Sekaran
Raja Sekaran
5 years ago

Great Tutorial..but better we need php in server side..Thanks anna..

Brom
Brom
5 years ago

so good but I want save all chat history.

Dwi Marstya Wibowo
Dwi Marstya Wibowo
5 years ago

Dear Ravi, how i can create more chat room ?
Thanks

Juan
Juan
5 years ago

Ravi, can you do some tutorials about Fragments? i say, i googled a lot about fragments tutorials(more than, for example, creating fragment tabs, post and show SQLite results to a ListView in one of those fragments, etc), really i need to know how to mannage this type of programming…a lot of people have problems to show things in the fragments and play with it…because now the fragments are better than more activities in one application, so..pleaseee

Levi Costa
Levi Costa
5 years ago
Reply to  Juan

+1

Allay Khalil
Allay Khalil
5 years ago

Hy i have implemented this tutorial its fine and working well on same laptop in two diffrent browser like (Google and firefox)but problem is there when i want to test this app web to mobile or mobile to mobile on same wifi connection because i’p address of android device and laptop are different , how i can test this app web to android mobile or two different device on same wife connection

Riz
Riz
5 years ago
Reply to  Allay Khalil

u must make one laptop to become server then on the same conecction such as wifi connection then on android code set ip with ip localhost laptop as server.

Allay Khalil
Allay Khalil
5 years ago

Kindly email me with your answer in my mailbox (allaykhalil@gmail.com)

or any one how can give me answer

J TechCentral
J TechCentral
5 years ago

Have you heard about Pars I’m using it for a chat apllication I am making https://parse.com/products/android

Levi Costa
Levi Costa
5 years ago
Reply to  J TechCentral

How it works?

dan li
dan li
5 years ago
Reply to  J TechCentral

I tried it. it’s cool,with some delay

khalil b
khalil b
5 years ago

public class Ravi extends India implement code{
public void main (String args[]){
system.out.println(“Hello RAVI , you are Genious “);
}
}

mamadou pathé diallo
mamadou pathé diallo
5 years ago
Reply to  khalil b

Really awesome RAVI.

He is such a great guy

Ravi Tamada
5 years ago

Thank you 🙂

Khalil Serano
Khalil Serano
5 years ago
Reply to  Ravi Tamada

can anyone help me ?

Dan
Dan
5 years ago

hi Ravi,
I import the project and followed all steps suggested here. I want communication between two android phones. I connected both of them with the same router. but I’m getting the error as below:
“Error! : java.net.ConnectException: failed to connect to /192.168.x.x(port80): connect failed: ETIMEOUT(connection timeout)”. Is there anything that i’m missing?

Anyone here who got the same error?! and successful to solve it?

~Thanks 🙂

janaki
janaki
5 years ago

hi Ravi, how to integrate stickers in chat app .as my project needs stickers

okan
okan
5 years ago

can we add push notifications to this system with gcm ?

Дархан Журсин
Дархан Журсин
5 years ago

Hello everyone! can I change words to my native language?

Sumit
Sumit
5 years ago

Use Google translation

Kostas
Kostas
5 years ago

Is there any way to make it run only through android app without using desktop versions?

maniteja
maniteja
5 years ago

Hi,

Thanks for your tutorial.

here (webSocket.onopen ) is not firing when i am running the application.can you help me where i did the mistake.
I am using eclipse j2ee and java version 1.6.

Rajendra
Rajendra
5 years ago

Hi Ravi do you know how we can do android video chat(like this tutorial does text/image chat). What i want to do is the application like facetime. Is it possible do develop that application using android? Could you provide some opensource/sample or point to the right direction. Thankyou

Attaaa
Attaaa
5 years ago

Hi,i follow your tutorial very nicee and thank you…i am new developer i want to make silent apps…i just want to make a button when i click on it my mobile going to silent mode and when i again press it will come in a normal mode..please plzz if u have any code about it..

Aman Gupta
Aman Gupta
5 years ago

Hey Ravi,

Thanks for amazing tutorial, I have used this trick for using node.js but my application is unable to get onMessage callback when some thing is returned to socket from node. Can you please help me out with this trouble.

Thanks in advance.

Sumit
Sumit
5 years ago

Hey Ravi,
I think this code works when the MainActivity is in foreground, do you have any idea how to maintain connection persistent through out the app, I am developing a chat application using SignalR android client and facing the above problem, i have defined connection in service class, but the problem is i every time i get the message i need to broadcast them to particular activity or fragment . Any better idea that this. Thanks in advance.

NIMA
NIMA
5 years ago

hi Ravi

I import the project and followed all steps suggested here. I want
communication between two android phones. I connected both of them with
the same router. but I’m getting the error as below:
“Error! :
java.net.ConnectException: failed to connect to /192.168.x.x(port80):
connect failed: ETIMEOUT(connection timeout)”. Is there anything that
i’m missing?

prashant
prashant
5 years ago
Reply to  NIMA

dude change the ip accordingly. not the ravi’s one.

کاظم از شیراز
کاظم از شیراز
5 years ago

I import the project and followed all steps suggested here. I want
communication between two android phones. I connected both of them with
the same router. but I’m getting the error as below:
“Error! :
java.net.ConnectException: failed to connect to /192.168.x.x(port80):
connect failed: ETIMEOUT(connection timeout)”. Is there anything that
i’m missing?

Ravi Tamada
5 years ago

What is the ip address of your system that is running tomcat server?

Joy
Joy
5 years ago
Reply to  Ravi Tamada

samee error plz help me i changed my ip in WsConfig.java and main.js.i want to chat betwen two android app only plz help

荣城 李
荣城 李
5 years ago

I finished the Project following the above steps.But it’s found that my R file was lost.Dose there anyone have the same question.Forgive my Chinglish,thank you!

Ravi Tamada
5 years ago
Reply to  荣城 李

In Eclipse, go to Project -> Clean. It will generate R file again. Make sure that you don’t have any errors in xml files.

dan li
dan li
5 years ago
Reply to  荣城 李

Chinglish?haha.好不容易遇见中国人呢

smithy14
smithy14
5 years ago

Hi Ravi, great tutorial and worked perfectly.
It would be great to know how would I go about transferring the server side onto a live server?

Jelqui
Jelqui
5 years ago

Thank you this tutorial is amazing! and easy to understand +100

Duy
Duy
5 years ago

how about I want to make an other is not the same Wifi network?

peoce
peoce
5 years ago

Thank you very much. the tuition is very awesome. It’s helps my a lot.

kalle
kalle
5 years ago

thanks for this great tutorial, but i have a question, i want to run this on my local Ubuntu server and access it with my mobile phone. if i run this programm over my pc it is running but when i start it over the server i get “Error! : org.apache.http.client.HttpResponseException: Not Found” what should i do?

thenoelb
thenoelb
5 years ago
Reply to  kalle

I’m having the same problem.

alex
alex
5 years ago
Reply to  thenoelb

i have the same problem…. but i guess its the library socket

Omar
Omar
5 years ago
Reply to  alex

i have same problem , what do you mean by the library socket ?
is there is something that the host server doesn’t support comparing to localhost or what ?

Mike
Mike
5 years ago
Reply to  Omar

Hello, I see you put your app on the rhcloud.com. Please tell what was the var socket_url value that you set in main.js in server part. Thank you!

Omar
Omar
5 years ago
Reply to  alex

Hello , I am extremely sorry for not sharing the solution that worked for me yet
it was to check that if your host server is supporting socket connection or not you can do this by contacting your web host administration or search in their docs .

If it supports socket connection ” my case was using openshift

https://openshift.redhat.com/app/login?then=%2Fapp%2Fconsole

then search for what port it use

i found this link :

https://blog.openshift.com/paas-websockets/

i decided to use port 8000

so i just changed URL_WEBSOCKET to :

public static final String URL_WEBSOCKET =

“ws://a1-app1.rhcloud.com:8000/WebMobileGroupChatServer/chat?name=”;

and then android client worked greatly for me for connecting with my openshift server .

I am very sorry again for not sharing the solution that worked for me before

Omar
Omar
5 years ago
Reply to  kalle

Hello kalle, I have this problem exactly when upload to my hosting also .
did you find any solution ?

kláda
kláda
5 years ago

So this application works only if devices are on same network ?
Right ?

Ravi Tamada
5 years ago
Reply to  kláda

If you host the project online, it works like whatsapp over internet.

Shifar Shifz
5 years ago
Reply to  Ravi Tamada

So, if i host this project in a server, say example.com, then what would be the web socket addrs instead “”ws://192.168.0.102:8080/WebMobileGroupChatServer/chat?name=” . ?

Ravi Tamada
5 years ago
Reply to  Shifar Shifz

It would be ws://example.com/chat?name=” . ? (Assuming WebMobileGroupChatServer is home directory for example.com)

Shifar Shifz
5 years ago
Reply to  Ravi Tamada

Ohkey dude 🙂

Wander Martinez
Wander Martinez
5 years ago
Reply to  Shifar Shifz

how you solved, could you explain to me, I’m stuck there?

Shifar Shifz
5 years ago

i heard that sockets works only in dedicated servers.
I’m not sure about that.i just heard.

The project worked fine for me when i put the project in my local tomcat server and gave my IP (ipconfig-cmd) in the socket address.

Sunny020
Sunny020
5 years ago
Reply to  Shifar Shifz

Hie sir

i am going thru ur article on ur site but got some prob now

hope u can help me out

here is the link – http://www.androidhive.info/2014/10/android-building-group-chat-app-using-sockets-part-2/

In this i m getting error at few places in WebMobileGroupChat project

1st i getting error in all three src> .java files

R cannot be resolved to a variable in

2nd i get error in MainActivity.java n MessagesListAdapter.java error as The type MainActivity is already defined and MessagesListAdapter cannot be resolved to a type

Rest all code is error free…

hope u will help me out soon..

thnx…

Shifar Shifz
5 years ago
Reply to  Ravi Tamada

cannot connect to websocket. 🙁 help me

Shifar Shifz
5 years ago
Reply to  Ravi Tamada

so where’s the port number and ip ??

Hanan Lipskin
Hanan Lipskin
5 years ago

i’m having some troubleshoot with this app (i guess its something really simple that i missed), could someone please help me out on skype?
please?

eric
eric
5 years ago

Hi Ravi, Thank you very much for this tutorial

I want to send data to particular user using sockets.

I am working on application were i need to send some data to specific user without much of delay. Actualy I have more then 1000 users who are online out of those I want to select one user and send the data to him only.

I had two solution

1.current implementation=>

So far I am using push notification for this purpose I get the user’s device Id and send notification to him but problem is push notification(sending/receiving) depend on my server and GCM server so it get delayed sometime(I observed sometime it gets delayed by 5 min also).

2.Not implemented=>

Another option is to run thread continuously to check any msg is arrived, if arrived check if whether is meant for same user or not,if he is targeted user then show the data else discard .But here also problem is even if this msg dose not belong to that user one need to check the condition and then discard.

Do you have a solution ?

thanks in advance

Guest
Guest
5 years ago

Hi Ravi, Thank you very much for this tutorial.
I want to display the emotion in message. can you give me someways to do. 🙂

Mohammad Reza Mokhtarabadi
Reply to  Guest

I think the easiest way is using an truetype font that includes Smileys!

Monica
Monica
5 years ago
Reply to  Guest

in my app messages are not displayed which are sent and received what should i do???

Rauzan
Rauzan
5 years ago

hello ravi i cannot open webSocket = new WebSocket(“ws://” + socket_url + “:” + port

+ “/WebMobileGroupChatServer/chat?name=” + name);

i use alert(WebSocket);

and alert is undefined;

please help me.

Ravi Tamada
5 years ago
Reply to  Rauzan

I guess the variable name is case sensitive. Call alert(webSocket); (w is small letter)

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