Using Retrofit to Interact with WebAPIs in Android

Managing API calls can sometimes be a pain in the ass. You need to manage making cslls to the server, you need to take care of JSON serilization and desrilization and then take care of inflatig the layout form the data. Most of my time during android development previously was spent in making this work. Recently I found a library which made so much simpler to do this task. Square has this wonderful library called Retrofit and i became a fan as soon as I stumbled upon it.

What is Retrofit?

Retrofit is an Open Source HTTP Client library for Android developed by Square. You can use Retrofit to convert you API into Java interface. You can then define methods in your interface to interact with the API where you can declare things like request method (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, and HEAD), query params, request body (form encoded and multipart), and http headears. These are supported with the help of JAVA annotations. You can check the details of how to use these different features in the retrofit website. For now let us look at a simple example of how you can use Retrofit to fetch data from your API.

Create a POJO class

public class SpeciesDetails {

public int success;
public DetailsData data;

public int getSuccess() {
    return success;

public void setSuccess(int success) {
    this.success = success;

public DetailsData getData() {
    return data;

public void setData(DetailsData data) { = data;

public class DetailsData {

    private Status status;
    private String physical_characteristics, species_ecology, large_image;
    private List<String> threats, references;

    public Status getStatus() {
        return status;

    public void setStatus(Status status) {
        this.status = status;

    public String getPhysical_characteristics() {
        return physical_characteristics;

    public void setPhysical_characteristics(String physical_characteristics) {
        this.physical_characteristics = physical_characteristics;

    public String getSpecies_ecology() {
        return species_ecology;

    public void setSpecies_ecology(String species_ecology) {
        this.species_ecology = species_ecology;

    public String getLarge_image() {
        return large_image;

    public void setLarge_image(String large_image) {
        this.large_image = large_image;

    public List<String> getThreats() {
        return threats;

    public void setThreats(List<String> threats) {
        this.threats = threats;

    public List<String> getReferences() {
        return references;

    public void setReferences(List<String> references) {
        this.references = references;

    public class Status {
        private String stat_global, stat_national;

        public String getStat_global() {
            return stat_global;

        public void setStat_global(String stat_global) {
            this.stat_global = stat_global;

        public String getStat_national() {
            return stat_national;

} }

Declare an Interface

public interface ApiInterface {

@GET(“/api/details/{id}”) Call getDetails(@Path("id") int id);


Create a Interface

public ApiInterface getApiInterface() { OkHttpClient.Builder httpClient = new OkHttpClient.Builder(); httpClient = addLogging(httpClient); httpClient.connectTimeout(100, TimeUnit.SECONDS); Retrofit retrofit = new Retrofit.Builder() .baseUrl(“”) .addConverterFactory(GsonConverterFactory.create()) .client( .build(); return retrofit.create(ApiInterface.class); }

Written on August 1, 2017