Maps SDK v10 Release Candidate

Production-ready with improved render performance and offline download times

Tom Lee
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Jun 15, 2021

Maps SDK v10 Release Candidate

Production-ready with improved render performance and offline download times

Tom Lee

Guest

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Guest

Jun 15, 2021

The Mapbox Mobile Maps SDK v10.0.0-rc1 is now available on Android and iOS. Our latest SDK release candidate enables developers to bring powerful and performant mobile maps into production apps in the Google Play or Apple App Store.

We launched the v10 public beta in January. Since then we’ve optimized performance, stabilized interfaces, and squashed bugs. More than a thousand developers have downloaded v10 during the public beta, and we’re grateful to all of them for helping to make v10 the best mobile maps SDK ever released.

v10 introduces a 3D terrain and camera system that unlocks dramatic new ways of viewing the map; revamped foundations built on Kotlin, Swift, and iOS Metal; performance boosts that deliver core rendering speedups of 25-30%; and numerous quality-of-life improvements for developers, from reduced lifecycle boilerplate to better error handling to new DSLs that make it easier than ever to work with map styles. Read more about v10’s features here

v10’s capabilities have grown since January. New offline and render cache systems debuted in the beta’s final weeks, delivering substantial performance improvements:

Render cache

Rendering maps requires significant processing to draw every frame. v10’s new render cache stores the results of draw calls as textures and seamlessly switches between dynamic rendering and leveraging existing cached results, dramatically reducing the work that must be performed. The cache delivers significant reductions in CPU and GPU overhead, especially for complex styles, with no reduction in rendering accuracy or quality.


The effect is most visible on low-end Android devices like the MediaTek Helio-powered tablet in the video above. But users with faster devices will still feel the impact of render cache in battery life and CPU utilization.

horizontal bar chart showing frames per second gains for 3 low-end android devices and the pixel 5. gains are in the 7-13 FPS range, starting at a high-30s base (except for the pixel, which starts at 72)


Render cache is available on all Android systems and can be enabled with a single configuration call:


mapView.getMapboxMap().setRenderCacheOptions(
	RenderCacheOptions.Builder().setLargeSize().build()
)


All-new offline

v10 adds support for tile packs. Tile packs consolidate sets of vector tiles into a more efficient form that reduces the number of requests necessary to retrieve data for a given offline region. This lowers network overhead and delivers remarkable improvements in download times.

The Mapbox Maps SDK has long included offline functionality: users can download map data ahead of time, allowing them to take maps beyond the reach of an internet connection. But while that capability was powerful, it could also be slow. Downloading individual map data tiles meant a huge number of network requests, which meant a huge amount of overhead and opportunities for network failures. With tile packs, these concerns become negligible.

The faster your connection and the larger your offline area, the bigger the time savings that tile packs can provide. Here’s a comparison of download times over wifi for varying offline region sizes in the Houston area, covering zoom levels 0-16:

vertical bar chart showing legacy versus new offline download times for increasingly large offline download areas. the legacy system increases steadily from 6 to 18 seconds, while the new system remains flat between 5 and 6.


Read more about how to use the new offline system in iOS and Android. The legacy offline system remains available for conventional tile sources.

Start building now

screenshot of web browsers open to android and iOS API documentation pages

v10 means beautiful, fast maps for users and a great experience for developers.  To get started, sign up for a Mapbox account, then head to the v10 product page to access the Getting Started Guide, Migration Guide, and API Documentation. We can’t wait to see what you build.

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