MapQuest charts a new route, basks in Apple's endorsement

Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Maps, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Maps app and Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) Here location services platform are the hot names right now in mobile mapping. Yet one of the pioneers of digital mapping is having something of a comeback: MapQuest. Sixteen years after its digital navigation services first rolled out across the Web, MapQuest made a dramatic return to the consumer consciousness last fall when Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook publicly recommended the voice-guided, turn-by-turn MapQuest for iOS application as a substitute for the much-criticized Apple Maps platform. And MapQuest continues to make moves. Last year it added traffic-sensitive routing to both its iPhone and Android apps, automatically optimizing routes based on travel conditions when the user begins navigation. And earlier this month, the company further enhanced its mobile services by checking live conditions every few minutes, making on-the-fly adjustments in response to congestion, accidents or other obstacles. FierceDeveloper contributor Jason Ankeny spoke to MapQuest General Manager Brian McMahon and Head of Mobile Engineering Ty Beltramo about the updated app, building for iOS and Android and the evolving definition of what it means to be a successful developer. Check out MapQuest's new route in the latest installment of Developer Workshop.