Search SDK for iOS


To use the Search SDK, you'll need to configure your credentials and add the SDK as a dependency.

Configure credentials

Before installing the SDK, you will need to gather the appropriate credentials. The SDK requires two pieces of sensitive information from your Mapbox account. If you don't have a Mapbox account: sign up and navigate to your Account page. You'll need:

  • A public access token: From your account's tokens page, you can either copy your default public token or click the Create a token button to create a new public token.
  • A secret access token with the Downloads:Read scope.
    1. From your account's tokens page, click the Create a token button.
    2. From the token creation page, give your token a name and make sure the box next to the Downloads:Read scope is checked.
    3. Click the Create token button at the bottom of the page to create your token.
    4. The token you've created is a secret token, which means you will only have one opportunity to copy it somewhere secure.

You should not expose these access tokens in publicly-accessible source code where unauthorized users might find them. Instead, you should store them somewhere safe on your computer and make sure they're only added when your app is compiled. Once this configuration step has been completed, you will be able to reference your credentials in other parts of your app.

Configure your secret token

Your secret token enables you to download the SDK directly from Mapbox. In order to use your secret token, you will need to store it in a .netrc file in your home directory (not your project folder). This approach helps avoid accidentally exposing your secret token by keeping it out of your application's source code. Depending on your environment, you may have this file already, so check first before creating a new one.

The .netrc file is a plain text file that is used in certain development environments to store credentials used to access remote servers. The login should always be mapbox. It should not be your personal username used to create the secret token. To set up the credentials required to download the SDK, add the following entry to your .netrc file:

login mapbox

Configure your public token

To configure your public access token, open your project's Info.plist file and add a MGLMapboxAccessToken key whose value is your public access token.

If you ever need to rotate your access token, you will need to update the token value in your Info.plist file accordingly.

Access token best practices

Learn how to keep access tokens private in mobile apps.

Add the dependency

Mapbox provides the Search SDK via CocoaPods.

To add the Mapbox Search SDK dependency with CocoaPods, you will need to configure your build to download the Search SDK from Mapbox directly. This requires a valid username and an access token with the Downloads: Read scope. In a previous step, you added these items to your .netrc file.

  1. Add the dependency to your Podfile. There are two options:

    • Option 1: To use the Search SDK with pre-built UI components, add the MapboxSearchUI dependency. This will also include MapboxSearch automatically.
    target "TargetNameForYourApp" do
      pod 'MapboxSearchUI', ">= 1.0.0-beta.2", "< 2.0"
    • Option 2: To use the Search SDK without pre-built UI components, add the MapboxSearch dependency.
    target "TargetNameForYourApp" do
      pod 'MapboxSearch', ">= 1.0.0-beta.2", "< 2.0"
  2. Run pod install to install the dependency.

Add search to an app

You can start by adding a search UI to your application using Swift.

Insert the following code snippets into your ViewController.

import UIKit
import MapboxSearch
import MapboxSearchUI
class ViewController: UIViewController {
let searchController = MapboxSearchController()
override func viewDidLoad() {
searchController.delegate = self
let panelController = MapboxPanelController(rootViewController: searchController)
extension ViewController: SearchControllerDelegate {
func searchResultSelected(_ searchResult: SearchResult) { }
func categorySearchResultsReceived(results: [SearchResult]) { }
func userFavoriteSelected(_ userFavorite: FavoriteRecord) { }

Run your application and you will see a functional search UI. Begin typing in the search bar or click on a category to see results.