Google Pulls Places API for iOS from Maps SDK

Google today said it is putting the Google Places API for iOS 2.0 and the Google Maps SDK for iOS 2.0 into separate CocoaPods. The idea here is to reduce the app size for developers who need Places data, but not Maps data. 

It will take some time for the change announced by Google today to take effect, so don't rush to make changes to your app just yet. 

First and foremost, the move to pull the Places API from the Maps SDK targets only one subset of developers: those who use the Places API for iOS. If you're using Maps for iOS, there is nothing to worry about or change. 

As a matter of course, Google suggests all developers upgrade to Google Maps SDK for iOS 2.0 and Google Places API for iOS 2.0 within 12 month, as the older v1.x Builds will not be supported come mid-2017.

Why bother? App size. 

"Previously, if you wanted to use the Places API you had to include all of Google Maps," explained Google in the release notes. "As a result of the split, the final size of the Places API binary is 70% smaller than the previous combined binary." That's a significant reduction for apps that need only the Places API and not the entire Maps SDK.

There are other benefits. Google claims the entire Google Maps binary is now less than 100MB, which lets it squeeze in under GitHub's max file size limit. Moreover, the Maps Framework is now available as a download for manual installation, marker info windows now render consistently, and info windows will now correctly respect the height of the returned content rather than always being square based on the width.

Developers on the Standard Plan Google Maps SDK for iOS 1.x who have not targeted a specific version in their profile I'll be upgraded to the new SDK automatically upon running "pod update." Developers who've chosen specific Places functions can take advantage of a new migration guide to help smooth over the process of moving from version 1.x to version 2.0. Google has full Documentation on how to extract Maps and Places from their respective CocoaPods, which will let developers use the SDKs manually in their apps and projects when appropriate. 

Google is doing away with the Premium Plan Maps SDK, which has been replaced with the new SDK for iOS 2.0 for Standard and Premium Plan developers. Google has created a migration guide to help developers make this transition, too. Google notes that developers' Enterprise Maps keys will continue to work alongside their Premium Plan, which will not be discontinued or otherwise turned off.

Google Maps SDK for iOS Premium Plan 1.13.2 will be supported for the next year, but Google strongly suggests all developers update to version 2.0 as soon as practical.


Be sure to read the next Mapping article: MapQuest Beta Testing Static Maps v5 API