Quick steps to use iOS’s LBS technology.

Core Location

iOS devices integrates various hardware components, such as:

to provides users with following LBS abilities as much as possible:

  1. Location Updates

    1. Standard location updates

    2. Significant location updates

  2. Heading monitoring

  3. Region monitoring

  4. iBeacon ranging

  5. Visit events

The CLLocationManager acts just like an NSNotificationCenter (but it is not a singleton) between the LBS hardwares and your App, you use it to request the authorization for LBS functionalities you are planning to use afterwords, and adjusts the relevant parameters of them before starting their notification updating loops.

After you call one of its’ start*** or request*** methods to emit requests for one of the 5 LBS abilities mentioned above, the CLLocationManager activate relevant hardware components, when the data is available it notifies you asynchronously by calling one of the its’ delegate’s methods.

Core Location Map

Work flow of using LBS abilities.

  1. Project setup

    1. Enable Background Location Updates Background Mode capability.

    2. Add NSLocationAlwaysUsageDescriptions or NSLocationWhenInUseUsageDescription key to info.plist.

  2. Configuring CLLocationManager

    1. Creating a CllocationManager instance and hold a strong reference to it.

    2. Specify location manager’s delegate, usually be a view controller.

    3. Check & request authorization status.

    4. Configures the relevant properties for the LBS functionality you are about to use.

    5. Before starting each LBS updating functions, there are also corresponding APIs you can invoke to check the services availability.

    6. Call start** methods to start the various LBS notification loops.

    // declare as some long-standing reference outside of function body.
    let locationManager = CLLocationManager()
    // within functions ( be it in viewDidLoad() )
    // designate delegate
    locationManager.delegate = self
    // request for authorization
    // configure updating related settings
    locationManager.activityType = .AutomotiveNavigation
    locationManager.desiredAccuracy = kCLLocationAccuracyBestForNavigation
    locationManager.distanceFilter = 10
    // finally check device & service availability before starting notification loop.
    if CLLocationManager.locationServicesEnabled() {
    } else {
      let alert = UIAlertController(
        title: "Service Not Available",
        message: "The location is not available or has been shut down.",
        preferredStyle: .Alert)
      presentViewController(alert, animated: true, completion: nil)
  3. Implement CLLocationManagerDelegate methods in you designated delegate object to:

    • handle received location data updates.

    • handle LBS failures.

    • handle authorization status changes.


In general, MapKit:

  1. shows map in one of three map types:

    • Standard

    • Satellite

    • Hybrid

  2. along with many built-in elements:

    • compass

    • POIs (points of interest)

  3. and provides developer with two kinds of customizable presentation facilities:

    • annotations

    • overlays

As of managing annotations, MapKit adopts the same design pattern as that is heavily used by UITableView – decoupling data model from presentation tools through reuse pool. Hence, there comes separate class hierarchies for storing annotation (overlay) data, and presenting them respectively.

MapKit map

Customize annotation view

A annotation view usually consist of 2 parts:

  1. The view view.

Set its’ image property to change its’ appearance.

  1. The callout view, which is popped up when the pin view is selected.

The built-in callout view is not exposed for customization, so we should disable the canShowCallout property