Huawei’s Petal Search Blossoms into Full Google Competitor

Born from the recently introduced Petal search app, Huawei has quietly launched its Google search competitor. Petal search was launched in June 2020 as a way to quickly find apps for a new Huawei phone. This was an important, useful step toward smooth transitioning from Huawei’s mobile services (HMS) and AppGallery store to phones equipped with the Google Play- or Apple App Store. However, now is the time for Huawei to show what the app actually is: it is the HMS alternative to Google Search.

This is not a big surprise. Since losing access to Google Mobile Services (GMS), Huawei has been working on its replacement in its own arsenal that was not already in its arsenal, such as maps, so a comprehensive search system makes sense. Anyone who has tried Petal Search may have already seen it crawling for news, and returned results for images and purchases in addition to apps.

Petal search’s main screen does not prioritize app search Andy Boxall /

Petal Search is a complete search engine where you can do news, shopping, pictures, flights, and more, including apps to install on your phone. News, shopping, travel and local business results will be focused. Huawei has focused on making HMS and App Gallery relevant to specific local markets since the beginning, hence efforts to attract local partners to search with its overall strategy.

Wonder how it will work? Huawei says that its own technology will be used in many areas, where its petalboat will crawl and index the web for results. Elsewhere, other peers will be involved more heavily, with the French search engine Qwant specifically mentioned. Huawei does not plan to use a single provider for its results.

Huawei’s Petal Search App Has Become a Widget in EMUI 11 Andy Boxall /

Petal search has visual and voice search functions, with Huawei already having a visual search tool – HiTouch – in its arsenal. Its extensive artificial intelligence (AI) expertise will also be a feature in Petal search. All of this is accessed via a dedicated app, or as a widget on the home screen, just like Google’s own search bar on Android phones with GMS.

In the future, petal search will be available throughout EMUI, with the possibility of a pull-down search menu and its cella virtual assistant. These features will be introduced gradually, with Huawei promising new features coming every month. On the privacy side, the activities of Petal Search are under the control of the user, as well as being part of the General Data Protection Regulation-Compliant, IWF Safe Search initiative, and also following copyright guidelines. There is also an incognito mode.

What about advertisements? Ultimately, this makes search a viable business model. Advertisements may come later, Huawei told , but the priority now is to build the experience itself.

Petal search is already available on all modern Huawei smartphones, but the full search experience is slowly being launched in specialized areas, with Huawei citing Spain and Turkey as early test locations. Petal search’s blossom from application locator to full Google search competitor is another important part of HMS’s development, and while it will take time to fully blossom, it’s Huawei’s commitment to quickly build its own mobile ecosystem There is more evidence.

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