21 October, 2021

How To Build a Real Time Chat App for Android and iOS?

In today’s situation, the real-time chat app has become a key mode of communication as it has made people aware of the importance of networking and socializing over the web platforms.

According to a survey as of July 2021, about 2 billion users were accessing the WhatsApp messenger on a monthly basis. This global reach and popularity has driven significant attention of app developers and upcoming enterprises resulting in search for details to know more about building a chat app for mobile and web apps.

This post is meant to give a stop to their search, as I have covered all the needed key aspects of how to make a real time chat app for android or web app with features and functionalities.

Let’s start over with the evolution of these chat apps.

Worldwide Evolution of Modern Chat App – An Outline

When it’s about the evolution of the Modern chat app, the first point that comes to mind is text messaging, the most common functionality any mobile device can have.

This feature has been available since 1980, but was never used before December 1992. It sounds somewhat weird but that’s the fact.

As the time moved on, there began a moderate evolution with communication where the usage of these text messages came to existence but have not grabbed much attention.

However, as every season makes a move there begins a season of smartphones and internet that has changed people’s perspective over communication. As a result of the past 12 years, the internet based messaging services have obtained a lot of attention via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, etc.

Since then till today, the evolution and growth in the usage of these internet based real time chat platforms is non stoppable. As of 2021, WhatsApp messaging has about approximately 2 billion monthly users, Facebook Messenger at 1.3 billion, and WeChat at 1.2 billion users. 

With the above statistical ratio, now it would have been much clearer for you as to how these real time chat apps have influenced people. This being said, let’s get some idea about their features and functionalities.

OutStanding Successful Features of Real Time Chat App

Well, we know that the real time chat apps are built with a combination of numerous features and it’s their features and functionalities that indicates it’s growth and success in the market. 

Thus, let’s have a look at some of the most popular features

1. Video Calling & Video Conferencing

A real time chat app without video calling and video conferencing features is something unimaginable. This is so as these features allow you to have one-to-one or -group video interaction instantly where you can have face-to-face interaction with a wide range of global users regardless of their geographical location.

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2. One-to-one and Group Chat

one-to-one and group chat enables you to connect instantly with an individual user or group of other users at once through text messaging with some special extra features like emojis, file uploading button, contact list, etc., to make your communication more easy and effective.

build chat app with group chat features

3. On-cloud & On-premise Hosting

On-cloud model makes you experience newfound enterprise-grade scalability with easy and quick installation. It is highly flexible to save time and money reducing your business’s risk.

On-premises model allows you to maintain your company’s own infrastructure and serves you for a long time with some time-consumption. On-premises applications are highly reliable, secure and allows the enterprises to maintain a level of control over the app.

4. End -to End Encryption

Security is the major concern for any messaging apps. This end-to-end encryption ensures complete security over the conversation that takes place among you and others. Here, the data is encrypted at the sender’s end and will be automatically decrypted when it reaches the receiver’s end ensuring high end protection from hackers.

End to end security for messaging app

5. Multimedia Support (File and Image)

The real time communication with chat, voice, and video also involves multimedia support like animation, GIFs, images, etc. The feature of multimedia support allows you to experience more interactive and fun communication with others by sending them graphics, GIFs, images, emojis, to express your emotions.

create real time chat app

6. VoIP/SIP Calling

The main purpose of these VoIP/SIP calls is to replace your traditional business phone lines. SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) truck shares the communication path for the entire telephone network via internet connection enabling the VoIP (Voice over internet Protocol) services to progress. It helps the businesses to establish their network by connecting with local as well as overseas busines.

7. Voice Calling and Recording

Voice calling and voice recording are some of the best features as they connect the businesses in the most cost effective manner. They allow you to contact and interact with people in real time wherein you can record the conversations and have them stored for your future reference.

voice calling for real time chat app

8. Cross Platform Calling and Call Queuing

Everybody appreciates an app when it is available as an easy-to-use service. Cross platform calling allows you to make and receive high-quality voice calls across any platform, desktop, mobile app or carrier network anytime in real time. With call queuing feature, the call will automatically get into the queue until the agent gets free to attend the next call.

9. In-App Purchase and Monetization

What if you have been given the option to buy the specific features that your app desires for – sounds great, right. This is what In-app purchase does, it lets users access special content within the chat app.

When it comes to monetization there are many models that assist businesses to reach out customers in a direct way that eventually increases the conversion rate by 150% than the conventional. For instance, in-app chat advertisement, pay-per download, sponsorship, etc.

10. Chat Analytics

Chat analytics allows you to obtain an overview of your chat performance accessing concurrent user base, agents activity, data usage, active users on a single dashboard in real time. This data allows you to optimize your customer support strategy that implies improvement in its efficiency.

chat analytics features for chat app

Now, after a brief discussion about the essential features of a real time chat app. Let’s move on to it’s technical part, the backend picture.

Technical Stacks Behind a Robust Real-time Chat App

Have you ever noticed how these real time chat apps are so perfect with their functionalities? Well, it’s the technical stack that plays the key role. Yes! the one that works silently and supports the most to create a real time chat app at it’s best. Let’s explore some of the varieties in tech stack and have a better understanding.

how to build own real time chat app

1. Erlang

The chief general-purpose programming language that is used to create the epic chat app like WhatsApp. Erlang has built-in support for concurrency, distribution as well as fault tolerance. This technical stack has been used in a variety of large telecommunication systems from Ericsson.

2. Ejabberd

This is an XMPP application server and an MQTT broker, which is mainly written in the Erlang programming language. It handles the message delivery system over any local area network. Ejabberd server is developed using some of the pluggable modules that enables wide feature

  • One-on-one chat
  • Personal Event Protocol (PEP)
  • Message typing specification
  • Privacy setting and account spoofing
  • Message Archive Management (MAM), and much more.

3. FreeBSD

This is a free and open-source UNIX-like operating system. It is somewhat similar to Linux, with two major differences in scope and licensing. The most popular WhatsApp that sends around a billion messages everyday has built its platform on FreeBSD. Since it’s a single distributor, it has several benefits with installation with easy creation of binary packages.

4. YAWS

This YAWS (Yet Another Web Server), is fully written on Erlang. In the real time chat applications, when these chat apps use embedded mode, the YAWS are executed as an embedded web server as with the combination, in another Erlang application. YAWS system is capable enough to handle concurrent processes in an efficient way and possesses high performance.

5. Lighttpd

Lighttpd is an open source web server that has been optimized for speed-critical environments for higher performance. This web server is deployed on WhatsApp to obtain the most secure, flexible, fast, and compliant features. It supports the SCGI, CGI, and FastCGI interfaces to external programs, allowing the web applications to be used with the server.

6. Php

It is an open source language that has been well known for its performance and reliability. It creates a strong and powerful web development technology when combined with AJAX and displays the data from the database using AJAX to develop a responsive real-time chat app. PHP is more powerful and deep enough to run the largest social network and also easy enough to be the first server side language for beginners.

7. BEAM

It is the part of Erlang Run-Time System (ERTS), that compiles the Erlang source code into bytecode, that is later-on executed on the BEAM. In other words, we can say it is a virtual machine that runs the Erlang. It is with a bunch of built-in functions like an if-simple network interface tool, etc. Its interface tools help the chat app with many functions such as Schedulers, Message passing, Processes, Memory Management, etc.

8. XMPP Server

An XMPP stands for Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol and is an open standard that supports the instant messaging as well as near-real-time chat by maintaining the exchange of XML data over a network. This XMPP server provides the basic messaging, presence, and XML routing features. The real time chat app encodes the XMPP server by reducing the byte of the keywords.

9. HTML WebSocket

The WebSocket is a feature in HTML5 and a next-generation bidirectional communication technology that is meant for web application. It is used to build a faster and persistent connection between the web browser and the server. This WebSocket operates over a single socket and is revealed through a JavaScript Interface in a HTML5 compliant browser. 

10. Mnesia DB

This is a real time database management system that is written in the Erlang language. Since it’s a soft database, it permits the storage of messages, images, files, voice/video files, documents, GIFs, etc., on your real time chat application. This is the most forwarded technology that works beyond one’s expectations and has the capability to store any amount of data.

However, as already stated the above are some of the majorly used technologies while building a real time chat app. Now, let’s make a move pertaining to the concept of how these real time chat apps impact the operational efficiency of any business.

Feel excited to Build Real Time Chat app for Your Business!

Impact of Real Time Chat App in Business’s Operational Efficiency

However, we cannot say that the enterprises completely depend on these real time chat apps to accelerate their business. But, Of course it does make a significant contribution in operational efficiency that supports the business in the most countable way mostly when it comes to communication. You can bring the global connection on the table by building a real time chat app for an enterprise.

Let’s see some of the major benefits it provides

Connect and Interact

The fundamental concept of any real time chat app is collaboration and communication that builds a successful work environment and culture. With its video calling features you can connect and have meetings with your employees as well as with business clients and have a clear face-to-face communication resolving the issues instantly.

This bridges the gap and also improves the client satisfaction level.

build messaging app

Improve Your Work Ethic

With a real time chat app your team members can create task lists and assign the task to their coworkers and tag them, and have a track of it with instant notifications.

This will make your employees follow work ethics by being perticularized about their next prioritized task. As a result there will be no wastage of time which eventually improves their mindset concerning work ethics and productivity.

Productivity

Nowadays where smartphone applications are filled with many apps, they are more than enough to distract an employee from their work environment and create hindrance in their productivity. In such a case, streamlining the project processes and regular interaction with the team via real time chat app can increase productivity contributing in time management.

Simple and Cost Effective

Most of the time the business needs to connect with global clients and communicating with them over the traditional phone call is very much expensive. Instead the businesses can utilize the voice calling feature of these real time chat apps and interact with their global client for hours through internet connection at a very minimal cost.

Security

Sharing and storage are one of the most necessary things that a real time chat app offers that too with security measures. These chat apps provide several hosting options – on-cloud and on-premises as per business requirements. And provides an end-to-end security over the conversations and the shared documents with multiple layer security like AES 256 encryption, SSL Security, etc.

Automated Reporting Features

If any business is clearly focused on their goals, then they will mostly look for something to have a track on history and performance over the entire organization sectors, this includes individual employees, the entire team, etc.

With this, the real time chat app provides the space to automatically record individual and team performance, on which later it generates the customizable reports on a weekly or monthly basis as preferred. This in due course of time permits the employer to make decisions accordingly.

The above are some of the major contributions that the real time chat app provides to any enterprises.

For now, I hope you would have got a clear understanding of how to make a real time chat application for android or web app, with features, functionalities and tech stacks. 

Now, it’s up to you to decide what and all things you require to create your real time chat app for android ,iOS from the above mentioned listings. But, if you still feel you need more guidance concerning the same then feel free to contact us below, we are here to assist you.

Ready to Assist you to Build your Real Time Chat app

Good Luck!

Vimala is an avid content specialist and marketer with a great flare for chat and video calling technologies. She pens down all things tech savvy while exploring the next-gen communication mediums.

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