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How to Build a Chat App with Chat Kit

How to Build a Chat App with Chat Kit

Communication is what keeps us going every day. We talk to our loved ones, colleagues, and even friends on daily basis. We may not always have the opportunity to interact with them every day, that’s where chat apps come to the rescue. With chat apps we can talk with them anywhere, anytime, and whenever we are pleased. Interesting, isn’t it?

Fortunately for us, many chat apps exist. The bad thing here is that some of them lack some of the killer features that we want or can’t meet our expectations. For instance, WhatsApp is a great chat application, but it still lacks one of the basic functionalities seen in some standard chat apps (i.e the screen sharing feature). With all that being said, don’t you think it is a good idea to create your own chat applications? You may be asking if this is possible. Yes, it is very possible with ChatKits!

In this article, we’ll learn how to create a chat app using ZEGOCLOUD’s ChatKit API, i.e. the Call UIKit.

What’s a ChatKit?

A ChatKit is essentially a chat app provider that includes UI and chat functionality out of the box. You don’t need to worry about the UI or programming because everything is ready to use by calling the ChatKit API.

There are numerous ChatKits on the market today, the best of which is arguably ZEGOCLOUD’s Call Kit. It’s the best free ChatKit alternative available! You’ll undoubtedly agree with me as we move through the section.

UIKit SDK Introduction

ZEGOCLOUD’s UIKits SDK is a completely new collection of pre-made UIKits and UI Components. We can use it to finish making video calls, live streaming, and video conferences in under 30 minutes.

As shown in the diagram, the UIKits SDK is in charge of processing audio and video calls as well as text chat logic.

When do you need the UIKit

UIKit is extremely powerful, but it is better suited for certain use cases. Another question that will arise as a result of this section is, “When do I need UIKit? ”. The following are some scenarios in which UIKit will come in handy:

1. Create apps more quickly and easily.

As I previously stated, UIKit, in conjunction with call functionality, can make it easier to build chat apps. It accomplishes this by scaffolding the setup and automatically creating our UI, allowing us to build and test our apps more quickly and easily.

2. Customize the user interface and features as needed.

ZEGOCLOUD’s UIKit provides extensive customization options. So you can simply modify the swetup to meet your chat or business needs. Instead of building everything from scratch, you’ll save a lot of time by doing so.

3. Early stage product testing

If you’re prototyping new products and making changes on the fly until the goal is met, UIKit is ideal. Using this approach, you can avoid costly testing phases by spending less time and resources on testing.

Apart from the above mentioned, below are other features of CallKit that you may consider to know when you need UIKit:

  • Ready-to-use one-on-one and group calls
  • Device management
  • Call invitation
  • Participant list
  • Custom call ringtones

Preparation

  • A ZEGOCLOUD’s developer account –signup
  • WebRTC and HTML 5 supported browsers.
  • Fundamental understanding of web development.
  • A computer with an internet connection, and video and audio support.

UIKit SDK Integration

To create chat applications, we must first incorporate the SDK into our project. To accomplish this, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Log into the ZEGOCLOUD developer console.

ZEGOCLOUD’s developer console makes app creation easy. First, log in or signup to access ZEGOCLOUD’s admin console to integrate the chat functionality using ChatKit.

login page zoom api

Step 2: Create a new project

To begin our chat app creation process, click “Create new project.”

ZEGOCLOUD dashboard zoom api

When you click the “Create new project” button, you’ll be asked to choose the type of app you want to build. Because we’re using the Call Kit, select “Video and voice” and click “Next.”

use case zoom api alternative

Step 3: Select the project’s name.

Following the creation of a project in step (2), the next step will be to name our application.

Please keep in mind that you can only name a project with digits, letters, and underscores ( ).

project name free zoom api

Step 4: Pick a way to build the UI.

There are two ways to build UIKit on ZEGOCLOUD. You can use the pre-built UIKit, which will give our one-on-one video call app responsive UI right out of the box. If you need more freedom to change things, you can choose SDK-level UI customization.

UIKit options free zoom api
app creation in progress zoom api

Step 5: Select a platform and obtain configuration files.

I’ll go with “Web” as my platform of choice. If you require iOS ChatKit and Android ChatKit, you can also select Flutter or React Native ChatKit.

platform zoom api

Step 6: Download project.

To download project files, click “Get configuration and integration files.”

Run a demo.

Open app with any modern web browser of choice.

Conclusion

Chat apps are no longer used for one-on-one interaction; they have become a go-to platform for most people in their personal and professional lives to exchange various types of content and more. From what we built in the article, you can see that it’s fairly easy to get your chat apps up and running using ZEGOCLOUD’s UIKit.

Download this article’s sample Demo source code to develop audio and video apps.

For deeper requirements such as streaming mix, noise reduction, censoring, etc., use our Core SDK.

You can reach out to our 24h technical support if you have any issues.

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