TileMill 0.4 is available today for download on Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux. This release includes a major overhaul of nearly every part of TileMill, from installation to the core rendering engine. Whether you already use TileMill to design custom maps or are new to the MapBox suite of tools, this is a web cartography tool you should not miss.
TileMill can now be downloaded as a single-file Mac OS X app that can be dragged into the Applications folder and launched from your dock. Thanks to the packaging wizardry of Dane Springmeyer it is no longer necessary to have Xcode, know how to use a Terminal, or wrangle through dependencies before making your first map.
For Ubuntu Linux users there is now a MapBox PPA allowing you to install TileMill and its dependencies through apt-get or the Ubuntu Software Center.
If you had trouble installing TileMill before, you can expect a much smoother ride this time around.
Thanks to a new metatiling API in node-mapnik TileMill now renders tiles at roughly 2.5 times the speed of the previous release. With some additional tweaks to image encoding performance, MBTiles exports are now churned out much more quickly.
There are dozens of other improvements spread throughout the new version of TileMill. To name a few:
An updated UI with a larger map preview and less clutter
Better font selection and color picker integration
Estimated completion times for exports
A built-in MBTiles preview to check exports after completion
Simplified data libraries including a local file browser