Huawei launches Petal Maps and transforms Petal Search into a Google Lens alternative
Huawei has been doubling down on its own app ecosystem alternatives to Google’s GMS, with its solutions taking the form of HMS and HMS Core, AppGallery, and Petal Search. Of these, Petal Search is relatively the newest addition, with an initial goal of serving as a search engine and augmenting the Huawei AppGallery for app distribution and discovery. Now, Huawei is pivoting Petal Search into a more focused Google Lens alternative, and the company is also launching Petal Maps as an alternative to other map solutions such as Google Maps.
Petal Search began its journey as an app distribution aggregator or a search engine that focused on finding Android apps. The experience for Petal Search revolved around a search widget that users could tap on their home screen to open the search bar to find apps and games online.
Now, Petal Search is also gaining more search functionality that attempts to recognize content based on presented imagery. For instance, you can now tap the image recognition icon on a screenshot, and figure out what the app is, as well as locate a reliable source to download it on your Huawei phone. Similar functionality extends onto other physical items too — you can point your camera at it and the phone will recognize what the item is, and attempt to show you a product listing for it. Further, it can also surface Wikipedia Excerpts, news articles, and even music when images or artwork are surfaced. The functionality appears to be very similar to Google Lens.
Further, Huawei is also launching Petal Maps, as an alternative to Google Maps. AppGallery already has a few options for online maps, but this is Huawei offering its own product in case you did not like the other options.
As expected, Petal Maps comes with navigation with 2D and 3D views, dynamic step-by-step navigation, with routing options including fastest route, as well as the ability to display real-time traffic. It provides data for over 140 countries and regions, and support multiple languages, with voice notifications in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Mandarin.