At the Huawei’s event that witnessed the announcement of the Mate 40 series, the company also mentioned some major software developments. Huawei officially has its own in-house maps app called Petal Maps.
It’s part of the broader Petal ecosystem which also includes Petal Search serving as Huawei’s alternative to Google’s mobile suite. Furthermore, Huawei Docs is here as the maker’s one-stop-shop for document, spreadsheet and presentation viewing and editing.
Petal Maps will arrive in beta soon on Huawei’s App Gallery. It will be supported in over 140 countries in multiple languages including English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Chinese. It supports turn by turn navigation in both 2D and 3D as well as on-foot and public transport commuting though the latter will only be available in some major cities at launch.
There are neat controls built into Petal Maps which allow you to zoom in and out, as well as switch between navigation view and map overview via air gestures. You can search for locations, businesses and other points of interest directly from the app and save your favorites. Huawei claims all search and navigation data is end-to-end encrypted.
Petal Search already had text and voice input but now it gets a visual search option as well. Think of it as Huawei’s answer to Google Lens so you point your camera at whatever grabbed your attention and Petal Search will come up with suggestions as to what you’re seeing.
You also get new visual search results in the form of information cards instead of just simple web links in some scenarios. According to Huawei, visual search currently works for people, animals, landmarks and food and will soon gain plant detection as well.
Huawei Docs is the company’s first-party office suite solution which brings a word and spreadsheet processor, alongside a PDF viewer and presentation editor. It supports over 50 formats including DOC, PPT and PDF. There’s also real-time cloud sync and multi-user support. Huawei Docs will be available in over 100 countries through the App Gallery.