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Today we are launching the Google Maps SDK for iOS 1.11, which includes bitcode support, new events and some features previously available only in the Android SDK.

Bitcode is an intermediate representation of your app that is uploaded to the Apple Store. With this abstraction, Apple can optimize for specific target devices at provisioning time.

The Google Maps SDK for iOS 1.11 also introduces two new events: didLongPressInfoWindowOfMarker and didCloseInfoWindowOfMarker. The long press event takes advantage of iOS long-touch as another way for users to interact with Maps SDK for iOS enabled apps. The close event is particularly useful if you wish to programmatically zoom back out on the map after the user has looked at the detail associated with a particular marker.

We have also added start and finish rendering events to the GMSMapViewDelegate and GMSPanoramaViewDelegate protocols. The start rendering events are triggered when tiles have just been requested or labels have just started rendering. The finish events are triggered on rendering completion for tiles and StreetView panoramas, respectively.

Finish events can be used in conjunction with an activity indicator to accurately represent when a map has finished rendering. The sample code below shows how to include this functionality. (We’ve also included SVProgressHUD in the sample below to improve the user experience, but it is not required)

import UIKit
import GoogleMaps

class MapRenderingViewController: UIViewController {
  @IBOutlet var mapView: GMSMapView!

  override func viewDidLoad() {
    super.viewDidLoad()
    mapView.delegate = self
  }

  // MARK: - GMSMapViewDelegate

  func mapViewDidStartTileRendering(mapView: GMSMapView!) {
    SVProgressHUD.showWithStatus("Loading tiles")
  }

  func mapViewDidFinishTileRendering(mapView: GMSMapView!) {
    SVProgressHUD.dismiss()
  }
}
Lastly, the Google Maps SDK for iOS 1.11 offers new features & bugfixes we think you'll find useful, including:

  • Setting ground overlay opacity with an alpha value
  • Polygon hole support
  • Increased camera tilt range at high zoom
  • Additional Places autocomplete functionality

Take a look at our release notes and update to Google Maps SDK for iOS 1.11 today.

Posted by Megan Boundey, Product Manager, Google Maps Mobile APIs

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Planning journeys ahead of time has always been difficult, since traffic conditions vary greatly over time. Developers have used live traffic data from the Google Maps APIs for years to help drivers with this problem, but up to now, this has been available only for journeys starting very close to now, and limited to Google Maps for Work customers only.

Today we’re extending traffic predictions in the Google Maps APIs indefinitely into the future - a feature we call predictive travel times. This will let developers plan journeys hours, days or even weeks in advance, using Google’s model of what the traffic conditions will be like on that day. We’re also making all traffic features in Directions API and Distance Matrix API available under our Standard Plan (2500 requests/day for free, with pay-as-you-go pricing for extra requests), and increasing the waypoint limit in Directions API for these developers from 8 to 23 waypoints. (Traffic features and higher waypoint limits in the JavaScript Maps API are available to Google Maps for Work customers for now.)

Using these new traffic features is super simple—just add the departure_time parameter to Directions API or Distance Matrix API queries, and the results will contain the travel time estimate given the predicted traffic conditions at that time. The route returned may also change depending on traffic conditions, which lets developers recommend the fastest route to their users. For example, the image below shows the fastest route from San Francisco International Airport to the Google campus in Mountain View late at night when there’s no traffic (blue), and during peak hour when an accident on Highway 101 has slowed traffic to a crawl (red).
Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 8.26.11 PM.png

Since traffic conditions far in the future could vary greatly, developers can set an optional traffic_model parameter to choose whether they’d prefer to get an optimistic, pessimistic or best_guess estimate of the travel time. For example, one of our customers, Redfin, plan to use the Google Maps APIs to predict how long it will take to drive between homes, so they will use the pessimistic traffic model to ensure there’s enough travel time taking traffic into account. On the other hand, a developer building thermostat app wants their user’s house to be warm by the time they get home from work, so they would use the optimistic travel time estimate to calculate when their user is likely to get home, and when their thermostat needs to turn on.

The default traffic model, best_guess, returns the most likely travel time given everything that’s known about the traffic conditions—both the historical model for the queried time and day of the week, and the actual live traffic conditions right now. This can be used in apps that give drivers an indication of what their travel time will most likely be.

To learn more about the traffic features in the Google Maps APIs, please take a look at our video, check out the documentation for the Directions API, the Distance Matrix API and the JavaScript Maps API Directions and Distance Matrix services, or download the updated client libraries for Java or Python.

Posted by Elena Kelareva, Product Manager, Google Maps APIs

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After an exciting road trip across the U.S. this summer, we decided to bring Code the Road to Europe to highlight what developers have made possible with the Google Maps APIs. We’ll be driving our customized 1979 Volkswagen T2 Bus with 50 Horsepower, 78Tkm on a four stop trip across Europe where along the way we’ll meet with developers, customer and partners.

Code the Road Europe kicks-off in Tel Aviv on November 10. From there we’ll be heading across Europe—stopping in Berlin, Hamburg and London.

We will also be hosting three developer meetups: Tel Aviv on November 10, Berlin on November 12 and London on November 25. The meetups will highlight how developers can use the Google Maps APIs in their apps and websites and include sessions with Google Engineers and customers. We’re expecting these meet-ups to fill-up quickly, so register today to reserve a seat at a location near you.

We’ll be hosting a 24-hour hackathon in Hamburg beginning the afternoon of November 18. Ubilabs and the Google Maps APIs team will be bringing developers, product managers and students together to develop innovative solutions to lend a hand in the Syrian Refugee Crisis.

We will be sharing on-the-road updates and photos on the site throughout the trip. We hope to see you on the road!

Posted by Tobias Espig, EMEA Marketing, Google Maps APIs