Inside Scoop: Apple mapping took a wrong directionIn this Inside Scoop, Kara Tsuboi and Josh Lowensohn discuss the ins and outs of Apple's recent map flub and what the blunder says about the post-Steve Jobs leadership. Also, Lowensohn provides suggestions for other smartphone mapping tools.
-Hey everyone, I'm Kara Tsuboi with Cnet.com. You're watching the Inside Scoop. My guest today is Josh Lowensohn, staff writer here at CNET. And Josh, we are talking about Apple's new mapping problem, a map flab if you will. Today Tim Cook, CEO of Apple came out with an apology letter, sort of rare for the company to do. Tell us about that. -Yes, there was a letter addressed directly to consumer and saying, hey, you know, we're sorry. This isn't up to snuff but we're working on it to fix. In the meantime, here are some other things you can use. What it didn't have is any sort of estimate about when Apple would actually kind of improve its own software. -So, this is sort of the second ding on Tim Cook's record ever since he took over as CEO. That doesn't look good for him or for the company and also shines a bit of a spotlight on the absence of Steve Jobs. -Sure, I mean of course there's gonna be comparison as to what Apple used to do and the way it used to be. In the case of the earlier, [unk] what was going on with China. That's more of an issue that he inherited. I mean that was the way the Company was running. There was also, reason more intrinsic to that because he was the supply guy, all that stuff that was going on with parts and where they're coming from, that was his job before he took on CEO. Now that it is in his leadership position, everyone is looking to him in the situation because the box stops here. You know, he is the guy who decides what ships at the end of the day and make sure the product that was inferior to what they had before. -Yeah, product that really is still like in its beta stages it has yet to be really tested in the public market. Right, I think that's part of the promise they didn't call it the beta nor could they really have it. When you had something like Siri that came out last year, a lot of people having problems with it but it was labeled as beta, you understood that. This is a product that replaces something that was around for 7 years tried and tested, had lots of good data, lots of good features, but you know what? It's not what it is anymore. -And just to get our viewers up to speed, this is Apple's own proprietary mapping that replacing Google mapping. And some of the problems are-- -There were a lot of inaccuracies of locations, you know, we got all sorts of photos that people sending to us where you would have something that was telling them to get off for freeway and notice no exit there. -Geez. -Or you had [unk] that was all there outdated and when we looked at this compared to something on Google, you didn't have that problems. So in here, the people go, well, I have this and it was working. Why did you take it away? And I think that was compounded by the fact that Google doesn't actually have an app to replace it right now. -Well, people use their smartphones for he mapping. That's one of the top reasons why we want those devices. What are some solutions that CNET recommends in place of the mapping app that comes with your phone or iOS 6? -Sure. So there's a big list and in fact Apple actually published the list which is kind of [unk] for alternative. So, you have things like Waves, you have app for MotionX, you have stuff from Garamond, all the stuff is free but some of it isn't. Of course, if you want something that's a true alternative to Google, you're gonna have to wait for the application to come. That's rumor to be coming later this year. But the meantime, you can still get away with using Google in your browser, you can use Bing Maps-- I mean there's also solutions that's probably the one benefit about all that's-- there is this big app diversity that people have to fish from in the meantime. -Great. Thank you so much Josh Lowensohn. I'm Kara Tsuboi. You're watching the Inside Scoop on Cnet.com.