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iOS client SDKs for the Ably Asset Tracking service.


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Ably SDK

Ably is the platform that powers synchronized digital experiences in realtime. Whether attending an event in a virtual venue, receiving realtime financial information, or monitoring live car performance data – consumers simply expect realtime digital experiences as standard. Ably provides a suite of APIs to build, extend, and deliver powerful digital experiences in realtime for more than 250 million devices across 80 countries each month. Organizations like Bloomberg, HubSpot, Verizon, and Hopin depend on Ably's platform to offload the growing complexity of business-critical realtime data synchronization at global scale. For more information, see the Ably documentation.

Ably Asset Tracking SDKs for Swift



Ably Asset Tracking SDKs provide an easy way to track multiple assets with realtime location updates powered by the Ably realtime network and Mapbox Navigation SDK with location enhancement.


This SDK is an alpha version. That means it contains a subset of the final SDK functionality, the APIs are subject to change, and it is not ready for production use. The latest release of the SDKs is available in the Releases section of this repository.

Ably Asset Tracking is:

  • easy to integrate - comprising two complementary SDKs with easy to use APIs, available for multiple platforms:
  • Asset Publishing SDK, for embedding in apps running on the courier's device.
  • Asset Subscribing SDK, for embedding in apps running on the customer's observing device.
  • extensible - as Ably is used as the underlying transport, you have direct access to your data and can use Ably integrations for a wide range of applications in addition to direct realtime subscriptions - examples include:
  • passing to a 3rd party system
  • persistence for later retrieval
  • built for purpose - the APIs and underlying functionality are explicitly designed to meet the requirements of a range of common asset tracking use-cases

This repo holds an Xcode workspace (Examples/AblyAssetTracking.workspace), containing:

Multiple example apps/ Xcode projects, and

One Swift Package (ably-asset-tracking-swift), containing three libraries/ SDKs:

  • Publisher SDK: The AblyAssetTrackingPublisher library allows you to use import AblyAssetTrackingPublisher.

  • Subscriber SDK: The AblyAssetTrackingSubscriber library allows you to use import AblyAssetTrackingSubscriber.

  • Ably Asset Tracking UI SDK: The AblyAssetTrackingUI library allows you to use import AblyAssetTrackingUI.

    The UI SDK contains:

    • Location Animator - uses to animate map view annotation smoothly


Visit the Ably Asset Tracking documentation for a complete API reference and code examples.

Useful Resources



These SDKs support support iOS and iPadOS. Support for macOS/ tvOS may be developed in the future, depending on interest/ demand.

  • Publisher SDK: iOS 13.0+ / iPadOS 13.0+

  • Subscriber SDK: iOS 13.0+ / iPadOS 13.0+

  • Xcode 14.0+ (we currently test using Xcode 14.3.1)

  • Swift 5.7+

Mapbox setup

In order to install the Ably Asset Tracking SDKs, you need to first configure your development machine so that it has permissions to download the Mapbox Navigation SDK. To do this, follow the instructions under "Configure your secret token" in the Mapbox installation guide in order to set up your ~/.netrc file.

Swift Package Manager

  • To install this package in an Xcode Project:

    • Paste in the "Swift Packages" search box. (Xcode project > Swift Packages.. > + button)
    • Select the relevant SDK for your target. (Publisher SDK, Subscriber SDK or both)
    • This apple guide explains the steps in more detail.
  • To install this package into a Swift Package, add the following to your manifest (Package.swift):

    .package(url: "", from: LATEST_VERSION),

You can find the version on the releases page.

Example Apps

  • If you have not already, configure your development machine so that it has permissions to download the Mapbox Navigation SDK.
  • An Examples/Secrets.xcconfig file containing credentials (keys/ tokens) is required to build the example apps. (You can use the example Examples/Example.Secrets.xcconfig, e.g. by running cp Examples/Example.Secrets.xcconfig Examples/Secrets.xcconfig). Update the following values in Examples/Secrets.xcconfig:
    • ABLY_API_KEY: Used by all example apps to authenticate with Ably using basic authentication. Not recommended in production, and can be taken from here.
    • MAPBOX_ACCESS_TOKEN: Used to access Mapbox Navigation SDK/ APIs, and can be taken from here. Using the Mapbox token is only required to run the Publisher example apps.
  • To run the example apps, openAblyAssetTracking.xcworkspace and then run the PublisherExample or SubscriberExample target.

AWS S3 support in publisher app (optional)

The publisher example app is able to fetch a location history file from an AWS S3 bucket and use it to replay previously-recorded journeys. To enable this functionality, you need to place an Amplify configuration file at Examples/PublisherExample/PublisherExample/Optional Resources/amplifyconfiguration.json. The example app is configured to use Cognito for auth and S3 for storage.

Running example apps on a real device

No additional setup is required when running the example apps on simulators, but if you try to run them on a real device you'll run into code signing errors.

To run the example apps on a device you'll need to change the code signing settings in Xcode:

  • Select the PublisherExample or SubscriberExample in the top of the Project Navigator.
  • Select the PublisherExample or SubscriberExample target from the targets list.
  • Select the Signing & Capabilities tab.
  • By default the Team option is set to none. You'll need to change it, preferably to a ... (Personal team).
  • Since the default bundle identifier is already being used by Ably, you won't be able to reuse it in a different team. You'll need to change it to any other value that's not already in use on App Store Connect.

If you run into an error The operation couldn’t be completed. Unable to launch ... because it has an invalid code signature, inadequate entitlements or its profile has not been explicitly trusted by the user. you'll need to "trust" your development account on your device:

Iphone Settings -> General -> VPN & Device Management -> Your development profile


Publisher SDK

The Asset Publisher SDK can efficiently acquire the location data on a device and publish location updates to other subscribers in realtime. Here is an example of how the Asset Publisher SDK can be used:

import AblyAssetTrackingPublisher

// Initialise a Publisher using the mandatory builder methods

publisher = try? PublisherFactory.publishers() // get a Publisher Builder
    .connection(ConnectionConfiguration(apiKey: ABLY_API_KEY, clientId: CLIENT_ID)) // provide Ably configuration with credentials
    .delegate(self) // provide delegate to handle location updates locally if needed
// Start tracking an asset

publisher?.track(trackable: Trackable(id: trackingId)) // provide a tracking ID of the asset

See the PublisherBuilder protocol for addtional optional builder methods.

Subscriber SDK

The Asset Subscriber SDK can be used to receive location updates from a publisher in realtime. Here is an example of how Asset Subscribing SDK can be used:

import AblyAssetTrackingSubscriber

// Initialise a Subscriber using the mandatory builder methods

subscriber = try? SubscriberFactory.subscribers() // get a Subscriber Builder
    .connection(ConnectionConfiguration(apiKey: ABLY_API_KEY, clientId: CLIENT_ID)) // provide Ably configuration with credentials
    .trackingId(trackingId) // provide a Tracking ID for the asset to be tracked
    .delegate(self) // provide delegate to handle location updates locally if needed
    .start() // start listening to updates

See the SubscriberBuilder protocol for addtional optional builder methods.


Both Subscriber and Publisher SDK support basic authentication (API key) and token authentication. Specify this by passing a ConnectionConfiguration to the Subscriber or Publisher builder: SubscriberFactory.subscribers().connection(connectionConfiguration).

To use basic authentication, set the following ConnectionConfiguration on the Subscriber or Publisher builder:

let connectionConfiguration = ConnectionConfiguration(apiKey: ABLY_API_KEY, clientId: clientId)

To use token authentication, you can pass a closure which will be called when the Ably client needs to authenticate or reauthenticate:

let connectionConfiguration = ConnectionConfiguration() { tokenParams, resultHandler in

    // Implement a request to your servers which provides either a TokenRequest (simplest), TokenDetails, JWT or token string.

    getTokenRequestJSONFromYourServer(tokenParams: tokenParams) { result in
        switch result {
        case .success(let tokenRequest):
        case .failure(let error):

Ably Asset Tracking UI (Location Animator)

The Location Animator can interpolate and animate map annotation view.

// Instantiate Location Animator
let locationAnimator = DefaultLocationAnimator()
// Subscribe for `Location Animator` position updates
locationAnimator.subscribeForFrequentlyUpdatingPosition { position in
    // Update map view annotation position here
// Additionally you can subscribe for infrequently position updates
locationAnimator.subscribeForInfrequentlyUpdatingPosition { position in
    // Update map camera position
var locationUpdateIntervalInMilliseconds: Double

func subscriber(sender: Subscriber, didUpdateDesiredInterval interval: Double) {
    locationUpdateIntervalInMilliseconds = interval
// Feed animator with location changes from the `Subscriber SDK`
func subscriber(sender: Subscriber, didUpdateEnhancedLocation locationUpdate: LocationUpdate) {
    locationAnimator.animateLocationUpdate(location: locationUpdate, expectedIntervalBetweenLocationUpdatesInMilliseconds: locationUpdateIntervalInMilliseconds)


Feature Support

iOS Client Library feature support matrix.

Support, feedback and troubleshooting

Please visit for access to our knowledgebase and to ask for any assistance.

You can also view the community reported Github issues.

To see what has changed in recent versions, see the CHANGELOG.

Known Limitations

These SDKs support iOS and iPadOS. Support for macOS / tvOS may be developed in the future, depending on interest / demand.


For guidance on how to contribute to this project, see