You can now add totally custom MapBox maps to any iOS 7 app in one line of code using our new MBXMapKit, which leverages new changes in Apple’s MapKit software to allow greater customization on both iOS and OS X. This video says it all:

Bring your own tiles across the board

Apple’s new changes have two parts:

  1. Bring custom map tiles into Apple’s MapKit while turning off Apple’s maps
  2. Use the same code across both iOS and OS X

Apple’s new APIs and, by extension, MBXMapKit, allow you to bring in custom map tiles but also turn off Apple’s own maps, allowing developers to leverage Apple’s software expertise and ease of integration with a custom look.

Now you can pair Apple’s existing maps frameworks with MapBox’s completely custom design capabilities — all by changing one line of code in your existing MapKit-using apps.

And because Apple has brought their MapKit to the Mac, the code to integrate custom maps will be almost entirely the same. Rather than using a web-based solution embedded in a web view, developers can now make high-performance native maps without having to learn any new code. Expect to see rapid growth of immersive mapping apps as this starts to roll out worldwide.

You can take any MapBox-hosted map and add it as a fully interactive layer to your iOS or OS X application with the following code:

[someView addSubview:[[MBXMapView alloc] initWithFrame:someView.bounds mapID:@"<user>.<map>"]];

You can continue customizing from there, but the above code produces a fully usable custom map immediately. If you are already using Apple’s MKMapView, changing occurrences to MBXMapView is all you need to do to go MapBox.

The future is open

Ever since Apple’s MapKit debuted in 2009, developers have been waiting for the opportunity to use Apple’s highly-tuned framework along with their own content. Apple has seen the rise of OpenStreetMap and the power of organic, crowdsourced mapping data. Now, developers can write far less code than before by leveraging Apple’s frameworks, combining them with MapBox’s highly-available, incredibly fast tiles to make completely custom, gorgeous maps.

Watch this space

MBXMapKit is only the start. We will be continuing to add to it and bring great functionality like custom interactivity and vector tile support all in the open just like our existing SDK (which, by the way, we’ve updated for iOS 7’s new look and feel.) For more info, stay tuned to our blog or feel free to reach out to me on Twitter at @incanus77.