Retrofit 2 for Beginners — Creating an Android API Client

Retrofit is a REST Client for Android and Java. It makes it relatively easy to retrieve and JSON (or other structured data). Retrofit uses the OkHttp library for HTTP requests.

So in this tutorial, I will create a simple app to get json data from server and display that into recyclerview.

our simple application


  • Creating new project
  • Model
  • Setup Retrofit
  • Creating UI and Adapter
  • Making a request
  • Conclusion

Creating new project

Note: In this project, I will use to get Movies data of Ghibli.

Ok, let’s coding by create new android project (java) with 3 packages: adapter, model, webservice .

Add Retrofit, Gson OkHTTP into dependencies (build.gradle file)

  • Retrofit: Type-safe HTTP client for Android
  • GSON: A library to convert Java Objects into JSON and back

We use OkHTTP for logging.

// GSON and retrofit    
compile ''
compile 'com.squareup.retrofit2:retrofit:2.3.0'
compile 'com.squareup.retrofit2:converter-gson:2.3.0'
// Log for retrofit
compile 'com.squareup.okhttp3:logging-interceptor:3.9.1'
compile 'com.squareup.okhttp3:okhttp:3.9.1'
compile ''

Because we are working with network so we have to add INTERNETpermission into AndroidManifest.xml file

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


Let create file under model folder. For easy, we just get title, description, director of movie.

Setup Retrofit

Create a file named ApiInterface where we can put all URI in this file

And now create ServiceGenerator file for Retrofit configuration.

Creating UI and Adapter

At activity_main.xml, add RecyclerView UI:


Create item_movie.xml file, this is a item of our recyclerview, just display title , description , director of a movie.

And the last thing is about Adapter . Let’s create a file named MoviesAdapter under adapter folder.

Making a request

And the last thing is create a request in

Let’s run to see what will happen!


It’s very simple application to introduce Retrofit. I have used Volley but For me,Retrofit is the best library with network operations because of its simplicity. In Retrofit we configure which converter is used for the data serialization. In this case, we use GSON .

Hope this article is helpful for you!

You can find full code in this github link.

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