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Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 7:55pm
Motorola 'iLost' ad criticizing iOS uses fake location
An advertisement for a Motorola smartphone showing Google Maps as better than Apple's Maps app came under criticism itself today. The ad, promoting the Droid Razr M compared both versions of the Maps app, with the Razr M appearing to have found a fictitious location correctly while the iPhone 5 seemed to complete the same task with the wrong result -- with the only problem being that the address doesn't actually exist.

The location, 315 East 15th Street in Manhattan, does not currently exist when checked with the US Postal Service, as no odd-number addresses are listed there -- the area is in fact a public park, with the only buildings or residences nearby having even-numbered addresses. While the iPhone shows the "wrong" location on a plain-looking map, the Razr M shows a map using satellite imagery -- but is also the wrong location.

The iPhone reports the fake address as being on a part of Marlborough Road, which is actually correct -- since there is no such place as 315 East 15th Street in Manhattan, the iPhone located the only "real" 315 E 15th Street in New York City -- in Brooklyn, where Marlborough Road was formerly named E 15th Street. The ad taunts the iPhone 5's Maps by asking readers "Looking for 315 E 15th in Manhattan? Google Maps on Droid Razr M will get you there & not #iLost," but in fact users would not be looking for a public park through a non-existant mail address, making the Google Maps response incorrect as well.

Searches for nearby locations that do exist come up with correct listings in Apple's Maps, and it has been suggested that Motorola could have used a real location that Maps gets wrong instead of faking it. Screenshots (seen below) show that if users attempt to enter in a real address -- 314 E 15th Street address in "NY" -- it will offer two options, both correct (the correct even-numbered Manhattan address, or the same address but in Brooklyn), both with impressive "Flyover" imagery. If users attempt to put in 315 E 15th Street in Manhattan, Apple's Maps drops the pin in the public park -- something Google's maps did not do, instead dropping the pin on the street corner.

The Maps app from iOS 6 received a considerable amount of complaints relating to its location data in the days after the iPhone 5's release. Satellite photos for locations have been found to have issues ranging from black and white imagery, low resolution stills, and cloud covering some places, while some addresses have been found to be in completely incorrect locations. Apple is now searching for people with experience in Google Maps to help fix the errors.

Nokia also came under marketing-related fire earlier this month, for misrepresenting photos and video it said were created by the Lumia 920. Marketing materials for the phone, including stills and video, were found not to have come from the camera, but instead from a professional-grade DSLR lens. Nokia has since apologized for the error. [via AppleInsider]