As usual, Apple’s latest iOS software update targets both customers and developers. A distinct set of changes has been instated for the latter group, enabling them to integrate third-party software with the official Apple Maps application.
The iPhone maker informs registrants of its annual development program that iOS 6.1 ships with a new Search API in Map Kit which “enables you to provide map-based addresses and points of interest directly within your app.”
The framework in question is basically just an interface which makes it more intuitive for the developer to embed Apple-generated maps directly into the app’s windows and views.
According to the Map Kit Framework Reference document on Apple’s public iOS Developer Library, “This framework also provides support for annotating the map, adding overlays, and performing reverse-geocoding lookups to determine placemark information for a given map coordinate.”
The API is not supported in Japan and Russia, Apple says.
Apple also asks developers to note that the Map Kit framework in iOS 5.1 and earlier versions uses the Google Mobile Maps (GMM) service. Which means that developers who target this service will need to adhere to Google’s terms of service for mobile maps.
Also worth noting is that Xcode 4.6 has been officially released in the Mac App Store with support for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and iOS 6.1.
(Here's what's new for end users, in case you missed it)