Google’s iLost ad uses a phony street address to exaggerate Apple Maps flaws

By , Sep 27, 2012

Remember an ad Google’s subsidiary Motorola recently published to highlight Apple Maps flaws? “Looking for 315 E 15th in Manhattan?”, Google’s advertisement read. “Google Maps on Droid Razr M will get you there & not #iLost in Brooklyn”, it went on to suggest that iOS 6 Maps will direct users to a wrong road name in the wrong city. Well, guess what? That address doesn’t even exist!

That’s right, 315 E 15th Street is not an actual address in Manhattan. This whole maps thing is really getting blown out of proportion. Why would Google fake an ad and make folks search for an incorrect, ambiguous street address other than make Apple Maps look bad. Apple of course also isn’t one to shy away from deceptive advertising. Remember this?

The discovery is credited to a Twitter user who goes by the handle AMD Pettitte.

According to AppleInsider, the iPhone 5 failed to find 315 E 15th Street in the Motorola Razr ad and instead found a similar address in a completely different borough because the referenced address simply does not exist.

Think I’m full of it?

Ask the United States Postal Service.

Google Maps is not without flaws either, author Daniel Eran Dilger explains.

Searching for “8th and Folsom” in the Google-powered Maps running on iOS 5 jumped me to “8 Folsom, PA,” a two day journey of 2880 miles away from San Francisco, where the map was centered.

That’s not a phony address invented to make Maps “iLost.” it’s a real address that Google offers to find directions for me in obviously the wrong place.

As you know, Apple is taking heat and attracting bad press over lack of features, inaccuracies and incomplete data sets in its in-house mapping solution that replaces a Google Maps backend on iOS 6 devices.

Google is said to be working on a standalone Google Maps app (you seem to be digging it already) and adding new features to its mobile web app as Apple is bolstering its manpower and vowing to improve iOS 6 Maps, promising that “the more people use it, the better it will get”, in Apple’s own words.

And just like that, the Mapgate saga continues…

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  • http://twitter.com/jaredgibbs Armed in the Villa

    If it bleeds, it leads. Negative press gets more clickthroughs. Yes, Apple is now the juggernaut and subject to derision, but when it was the underdog, it never made false claims against Microsoft, it innovated, created an entire new market and dominated it. Funny how Apples detractors attempts to dethrone it by slight of hand. Unfortunately many will run with this….

  • http://twitter.com/Sriganesh_Gopal Sriganesh Gopal

    When Google Maps first came out it sucked, and after a couple years they refined it to what it is now. But no one went all ape-shit about it.
    When Apple makes its apps, its suppose to “magically” be perfect? Get real people.

    • ghettocowboy

      that’s not the point. the point is why are you switching a fully mature app to a half baked app depriving the customers privilage to choose a better app

      • http://twitter.com/Ign0ttus Tom García

        Fully mature? Have you used the Google Maps on Android? Completely different.

      • Emre SÜMENGEN

        Right to the point…

      • Kurt

        apple was at fault for doing nothing to implement features it was their app, not googles app. google didn’t create that app. thats why youtube sucked and now googles youtube app is awesome

      • Lordthree

        Consumers have TONs of choices. Try free Waze for example. If the App is FREE in the app store consumers still have the features if they want them. Get a clue.

      • Emre SÜMENGEN

        1) Customers still have lots of choices.
        2) It’s an Apple built-in app, and Apple has all the right to change it’s fore/back-end…

        Basic enough.

        But the untold: One may or may not be happy/happier with the new one, after a change, and it’s normal, as it is normal for the change to happen…

    • Anirudh B

      Except when Google Maps first came out, nobody was forcing you to use it, nobody was making it the default for anything. Here, iOS 6 is making a buggy Maps app the default Maps app and the replacement for MapKit. You have to download another app to get around it, but even then apps that use MapKit will still use the buggy Apple Maps and its incomplete data.

      • Emre SÜMENGEN

        What?
        Who’s forcing you to use Apple’s Maps app? Go buy or download your own choice and use it!

      • Manny Gonzalez

        Nobody is forcing you to use Apple Maps, but if Apple makes it the default app for maps and navigation it better be damn good! I didn’t spend all this money in the new iPhone just to go and spend more money to buy and download a separate map app, when the iPhone has one built in it, which by the way should work as they advertised it to be.

      • Emre SÜMENGEN

        I’m not saying it shouldn’t be good… And, if it was good, I’d say it should be better.

        But, as it’s a free service, noone has the right to cry.

        It’s what they can provide. Period. No point in discussing “what”s and “if”s.

        And, there are lots of free alternatives you can use (as well as paid ones)… And, in iOS, there’s usually no big difference between a default app and an app installed over App Store. So, what’s the deal?

        One thing I believe is that in a business perspective, they did the right thing. They could probably have done it much better, and that obviously would be good… But, for Apple (and Apple customers), sticking with an in-house maps solution is much better than keeping that crappy Google Maps. (By crappy, I mean features, when compared to what Google can offer for Android. I find Google very hypocrite about all this, against Apple, and against customers.)

        And, for the sake of information, both (Apple and Google) maps suck deep, in lots of places around the world.

      • macboy74

        When google maps came out there were no android or iPhones in existence. It took Google 7 years to get their maps where it is today. When it came out it was just as bad as Apples if not worse.

  • http://twitter.com/1TooManyJs J

    This whole mapgate is blown out of proportion but I do find it funny that the actual icon in iOS 6 for maps is wrong

    ….go ahead, take a closer look at

    • Emre SÜMENGEN

      It’s an icon man :)

    • Kurt

      haha good eye…apple can’t even do that right

  • http://twitter.com/nAcolz Acolz

    Wait so why does it find the address on google maps?
    The 315 is number of the house, E 15TH ST is the street. It’s there.
    Am I right or not? I am seriously confused

    • Byron Davis

      EXACTLY!!!! It’s a real address. This site is wrong.

      • Kurt

        who lives there

      • Spiros Babatsikos

        Even the Nokia Maps report this one as a valid address, so they all can’t be incorrect?

      • Bieberkinz

        Again heres the original Tweet with the Pic:

        Looking for 315 E 15th in Manhattan? Google Maps on DROID RAZR M will get you there & not #iLost in Brooklyn. http://moto.ly/location

        Then the ad…. its a real address, but the tweet info was wrong

      • Luis Rocha

        You are very correct. If you type “315 E 15th in Manhattan” it will bring up the same location as Google maps.

    • Bieberkinz

      The point is that it’s advertising that 315 E 15th Street is a real place in MANHATTAN and that Google Maps will find it for MANHATTAN, which the address doesn’t exist for MANHATTAN. If they said New York, not just NY, or even better type the EXACT same thing into both phones and the same result happened, then they would be right. Key Word: MANHATTAN…. Don’t tweet stuff until you found your research to be right Motorola.

      • Anirudh B

        Then why do the screenshots clearly show “ny” not Manhattan?

      • Bieberkinz

        It would be fine if the Tweet with the post didn’t say Manhattan, it says NY because like many ads they try to make products look good as it can, if you saw the original Tweet that was with the post it mentioned that the city used was Manhattan.

      • http://twitter.com/nAcolz Acolz

        Thanks for explaining I get it.

  • Appletiser

    how is Apple’s incorrect identifying of a poison ivy instead
    of an oak deceptive? it would be more a case of an uneducated marketing persons fault not Apple’s. a more legitimate and intentional act of deception is Nokia’s Lumia 920 ad.

    • Kurt

      did you forget that apple did worse than the lumia? iphone 4S image stabilizer which there is no image stabilizer for one…but in their ads showing the hot air balloon they are using a crane/boom too lift the iphone (if an iphone was used as they said) but it was a crane. no person can make such a smooth slight tilt in all those shots. you can see the vid in the keynote

      • Appletiser

        but the 4S has nausea inducing digital video stabilisation and besides even if it didnt, without watching the keynote example to which you refer, mounting it, or any other manufacturers mobile device, onto a steadicam or crane boom is highly feasible.

  • http://twitter.com/MHCsk MHCsk

    Rofl. Motorola still exists?

  • dummies

    It’s real, I work across the street..discussion ended!

    • Kurt

      i know where you work

    • maurid

      I am watching you right now lololololololol

    • macboy74

      We have a winner!!! I was waiting for some moron to say these exact words.

  • Luis Rocha

    Wow. Talk about having blinders on. If you search on Apple Maps for that address, you’ll end up in 315 Marlborough Rd, New York, as Motorola says. However, it appears that people are not looking farther than the marker. If you look past the railroad to the east, you’ll find 16th St, and if you look west 6 streets (including Coney Island Ave), you’ll find 9th St. It appears that 15th St was renamed to Marlborough Rd., which means that the address is technically correct. I don’t know how long ago it might have been renamed, but it proves that in the past that WAS the correct address.
    What about the location Google finds? Well, if you use Street View on that location and look around, you’ll see that the address corresponds to the park, yet it’s not the official address for the park. So in fact that address is NOT an address. Like Street Views states, that “Address is approximate”, but it doesn’t actually find it.
    So given all this, Apple Maps is MORE correct than Google Maps because Apple’s finds the address on a street that was renamed, whereas Google’s is not (unless someone can find evidence that at some point in time there used to be a building on that location).

  • http://www.facebook.com/antman217 Anthony Antunez

    This is Motorola’s doing, don’t blame Google.

  • http://twitter.com/MattGMckenzie Matt ✵ McKenzie

    Idiots. 315 E 15th St NY while not containing a physical structure, is still a valid address in Manhattan. Bing, Yahoo, Nokia, OpenStreetMaps, Mapquest all report back a valid address. USPS doesn’t because it doesn’t contain a structure. Apple getting all confused and picking a random 315 numbered street from Brooklyn is another example of how screwed up it is. Saying Apple is so amazing it picked up a 100yr old address change is not going to help the tourist when he seeks for directions to the nice park at 315 E 15St NY and ends in nowhereville in Brooklyn. The address ACTUALLY EXISTS, how is that faking?

    • Kurt

      exactly

  • alex card

    Apple messed up big time, no excuses they need to get it sorted out asap.

  • http://uri.cl/ Uri

    Breaking news, everybody! 555-***** numbers in movies and tv commercials are… NOT REAL.

  • http://www.facebook.com/reynoldm.cachia Reynold M Cachia

    I love Apple maps. The whole issue is a storm in a teacup . I always found Google maps less than good , being unable to find places and giving incorrect and out of date information . I think that Apple maps is far superior where I live , the turn by turn nav works very well , the appearance and interface is better. The only thing I did like to use occasionally was street view but this is available on another app anyway .