The Roam iOS SDK makes it quick and easy to build a location tracker for your iOS app. We provide powerful and customizable tracking modes and features that can be used to collect your users’ location updates.


To use the Roam SDK, the following things are required:

  • Get yourself a free Roam Account. No credit card required.

  • Create a project and add an iOS app to the project.

  • You need the SDK_KEY in your project settings which you’ll need to initialize the SDK.

  • Now you’re ready to integrate the SDK into your iOS application.

The Roam iOS SDK requires Xcode 10.0 or later and is compatible with apps targeting iOS version 10 and above

Run the example application

The Roam Example repository on GitHub includes example apps that demonstrate the use of the v3 Roam SDK for iOS.

See a Swift example app in Example/.

To run the example app, clone this repository, add your publishable YOUR-PUBLISHABLE-KEY key in AppDelegate.swift, and build the app.

Make sure the bundle_id is the same as the one registered in our Roam Playground dashboard.

Xcode Setup

To integrate the Roam SDK, you need a Roam account.

  1. Go to Xcode > File > New Project

  2. Configure the information property list file Info.plist with an XML snippet that contains data about your app. You need to add strings for NSLocationWhenInUseUsageDescription in the Info.plist file to prompt the user during location permissions for foreground location tracking. For background location tracking, you also need to add a string for NSLocationAlwaysUsageDescription and NSLocationAlwaysAndWhenInUseUsageDescription in the same Info.plist file.

    <string>Add description for foreground only location usage.</string>
    <string>Add description for background location usage. iOS 10 and below"</string>
    <string>Add description for background location usage. iOS 11 and above</string>

Next you need to enableBackground fetch and Location updates under Project Setting > Capabilities > Background Modes.

SDK Installation

There are several ways to integrate the Roam Mobile SDK for iOS into your own project:

  • Swift Package Manager

  • CocoaPods

  • Carthage (Will be added soon)

  • Dynamic Frameworks

Swift Package Manager Installation

Swift Package Manager is distributed with Xcode. To start adding the AWS SDK to your iOS project, open your project in Xcode and select File > Swift Packages > Add Package Dependency.

Enter the URL for the Roam SDK for iOS Swift Package Manager GitHub repo (https://github.com/roam-ai/roam-ios) into the search bar and click Next.

You'll see the repository rules for which version of the SDK you want Swift Package Manager to install. Choose the first rule, Version, and select Up to Next Minor as it will use the latest compatible version of the dependency that can be detected from the main branch, then click Next.

Select roam-ios, then click Finish.

Screenshot 2021-06-29 at 12 22 38 PM

You can always go back and modify which SPM packages are included in your project by opening the Swift Packages tab for your project: Click on the Project file in the Xcode navigator, then click on your project's icon, then select the Swift Packages tab.

CocoaPods Installation

Follow the steps below to add the SDK to the project using CocoaPods. Add the below to the Podfile

pod 'roam-ios'

Then run pod install.

This will add the Roam SDK and its dependencies to your project. The Roam SDK depends on CoreLocation, AWSMobileClient and AWSIoT for fetching locations and its transmission to our servers. The SDK supports iOS 10 and above.

Manual Installation

If you’re not familiar with using Cocoapods or prefer manual installation, we’ve added a ZIP file to the SDK. Use this link to download the Roam.zip file.

Unzip the file and add the Roam Roam.framework to your Xcode project by dragging the file into your Project Navigator.

You can do this by selecting the project file in the navigator on the left side of the Xcode window, and then navigating to the Linked Frameworks and Libraries section. From there, click the “+” button to add the Roam framework. You will also want to add the following frameworks from this link.


Make sure the the added frameworks under Linked Frameworks and Libraries section are selected as Embed & Sign

Initialize SDK

Add the following code in AppDelegate file. This code imports the SDK and allows the SDK to use other methods.

import Roam

After import, add the below code underapplication(_:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:) in your AppDelegate file. The SDK must be initialized before calling any of the other SDK methods using your project's publishable key.


Request Permissions

Before you start location tracking, you need to get permission from the user for your application to access locations.

  1. Import CoreLocation at the top of the AppDelegate file.

    import CoreLocation
  2. Make the below class declaration for Location Manager and add this line before the return statement in application(_:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:) With this line, you ask users to allow the app to access location data both in the background and the foreground.

    let locationManager = CLLocationManager()

Location Tracking

Start Tracking


Use one of the tracking modes while you use the Roam.startTracking method.

Stop Tracking

To stop the tracking use the below method.


Tracking Modes

Adaptive Tracking

Roam has three default tracking modes along with a custom version. They are different based on the frequency of location updates and battery consumption. The higher the frequency, the higher the battery consumption.


Battery usage

Updates every

Optimised for/advised for


6% - 12%

25 ~ 250 meters

Ride Hailing / Sharing


3% - 6%

50 ~ 500 meters

On Demand Services


0% - 1%

100 ~ 1000 meters

Social Apps

//active tracking
// balanced tracking
// passive tracking

Distance Interval Tracking

The SDK also provides a custom tracking mode which allows you to customize and build your own tracking mode as per your requirement.



Unit Range

Distance Interval


1m ~ 2500m

Distance between location updates example code:

// Define a custom tracking method
let distanceTrackingMethod = RoamTrackingCustomMethods()
// Update the settings for the created method as per need
distanceTrackingMethod.activityType = .fitness
distanceTrackingMethod.pausesLocationUpdatesAutomatically = true
distanceTrackingMethod.showsBackgroundLocationIndicator = true
distanceTrackingMethod.useSignificant = false
distanceTrackingMethod.useRegionMonitoring = false
distanceTrackingMethod.useVisits = false
distanceTrackingMethod.accuracyFilter = 10
distanceTrackingMethod.desiredAccuracy = .kCLLocationAccuracyNearestTenMeters
// Update the distance intervel as per the use case in meters
distanceTrackingMethod.distanceFilter = 10
// Start the tracking with the above created custom tracking method
Roam.startTracking(.custom, options: distanceTrackingMethod)

Time Interval Tracking



Unit Range

Time Interval


1s - 10000s

Time between location updates example code:

// Define a custom tracking method
let timeTrackingMethod = RoamTrackingCustomMethods()
// Update the settings for the created method as per need
timeTrackingMethod.activityType = .fitness
timeTrackingMethod.pausesLocationUpdatesAutomatically = true
timeTrackingMethod.showsBackgroundLocationIndicator = true
timeTrackingMethod.useSignificant = false
timeTrackingMethod.useRegionMonitoring = false
timeTrackingMethod.useVisits = false
timeTrackingMethod.accuracyFilter = 10
timeTrackingMethod.desiredAccuracy = .kCLLocationAccuracyNearestTenMeters
// Update the time intervel as per the use case in seconds
timeTrackingMethod.updateInterval = 10
// Start the tracking with the above created custom tracking method
Roam.startTracking(.custom, options: timeTrackingMethod)

Location Listener

To listen to location updates create a class that implements RoamDeleagate and then call Roam.delegate.

Set your RoamDeleagate in a code path that will be initialized and executed in the background. For example, make your AppDelegate implement RoamDeleagate, not a ViewController. AppDelegate will be initialized in the background, whereas a ViewController may not be.

Note: In the case of tracking without user session ie. self tracking, you can listen to only location, error and offline trips status data since the locations are not being sent to our servers for processing events.

import UIKit
import Roam
import CoreLocation
class AppDelegate: UIResponder, UIApplicationDelegate, RoamDelegate {
func application(_ application: UIApplication, didFinishLaunchingWithOptions launchOptions: [UIApplication.LaunchOptionsKey: Any]?) -> Bool {
Roam.delegate = self
return true
func didUpdateLocation(_ location: RoamLocation) {
// Do something with the user location