Hey there - we’re Hipmob. We help mobile developers and businesses increase conversions, and provide amazing customer support. We work with everyone from small startups to public companies - and our work has been featured on Forbes and CNBC. You can learn more here.
One question we get asked a ton is whether we support in-app group chat. The Hipmob platform supports limited peer-to-peer chat for mobile apps, but our core focus is on helping you communicate with your customers. Many developers however, are looking for easy ways to add group chat and chatrooms to a dating app, to social apps, and many others. To help developers looking for an answer, we created a listing of the resources we know about(And those that have been suggested to us) that help you add group chat to your mobile app or website. You can see the list here..
With this post, we’ll go just a little bit deeper into each resource that provides either a backend or mobile SDK you can use in your iOS, Android, or HTML5 apps, so that you can make a more informed choice and be up and running in no time! If you’ve used any of these and have a strong opinion for or against any of them, we’d love to hear it! Email me at email@example.com.
Quick Comparison of Messaging and Group Chat Services.
Scringo features a mobile SDK that you can install with just one line of code. Adding this SDK to your app brings you either a full screen chat view and inbox, or a swipe in view. In the view comes an inbox, peer-to-peer chat, and group chat rooms. They’re focused on making your app more social, and support iOS, Android and Unity (in beta) out of the box. Check them out here.
Quickblox has a similar set of features as Scringo, but is set up in a modular fashion, and supports several more platforms. Supported platforms include iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry, and the Web. They also have a readily available REST API. Pricing starts at free, and goes up to enterprise, but they have no dollar amounts readily listed on site. Check them out here.
Backend and Messaging Services For Developers
Talkray is a YCombinator backed company that provides a developer API for adding group and p2p chat, as well as voice calls to your app. The Talkray developer API is the same one that powers Talkray’s mobile apps that have over 20 million users for iOS and Android. Talkray’s Developer API is in beta so pricing hasn’t been announced - you can check it out here.
Firebase is also YCombinator backed - they’re the team behind the popular website chat tool Envolve (for adding chatrooms to your website). Firebase supports iOS/OS X, Java/Android, Node.js, HTML and is accessible via REST API. Firebase also provides a ton of examples (you can see some here) so it’s fairly easy to get started as a newbie. Pricing is based on data transfer, storage and connections, with a free plan. Paid plans start at $49/month, all the way up to $1499 and enterprise. Check them out here.
Pubnub is a cloud service, similar to Pusher, for adding real time messaging to mobile and web apps. The big difference is Pubnub publishes a ton of SDK’s out the box (you can see some here). Pricing for Pubnub starts at free, with paid plans starting at $15/month on up to $399 and enterprise.
Finally, you’ll probably want to know which app development platforms they support. All 4 of the 5 services support PhoneGap and Appcelerator, and all Support iOS and Android.
Supported App Development Platforms
Hope this helps. If you’ve used any of these and have more feedback, we’d love to share it with the community! Also, If you have any others to add, please share - we’ll add them to the list. Here’s a link to the Google Doc Spreadsheet with all the links and comparisons.
And if you’re looking to amaze your customers with customer support, just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check us out at www.hipmob.com!