Petal Maps, the navigation application developed by Huawei to replace Google Maps, is now available on App Gallery. Already offered in 140 countries, the service is part of the HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) ecosystem. Despite its strengths, the application stands out as a rudimentary version of Maps.
Deprived of an Android license by American decision, Huawei is no longer able to preinstall Google applications and services on its smartphones. For compensate for the absence of Google Mobile Services, the Chinese group urgently developed the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), a suite of home applications. Among the flagship applications, we find Huawei Docs, replacing Google Docs, or Huawei Drive, the Chinese alternative to Google Drive.
Huawei has also internally developed an alternative to Google Maps called Petal Maps. Available in a test version since October 22, 2020, the application was reserved for members of the beta program. It is finally available for download to all users of a Huawei smartphone. Unsurprisingly, the application is offered exclusively on App Gallery, the app store that replaces the Play Store.
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Our opinion on Petal Maps, the Huawei alternative to Google Maps
We installed Petal Maps as soon as it arrived on the App Gallery. Overall, the mapping service is effective. As you might expect, it is Célia, Huawei’s in-house voice assistant, who is responsible for communicating with the driver in GPS mode. As route options, Petal Maps offers “Avoid tolls” and “Avoid traffic jams”.
Note that Petal Maps also allows you to switch from one display mode to another by performing hand gestures. It is possible to scroll the map without touching the screen. The option promises to be especially practical when you are behind the wheel of your car. On the other hand, this feature is apparently not available on all Huawei smartphones. Only the Mate 40 Pro, P40 Pro, Mate 30 Pro benefit from the option. We tested the novelty on our P40 Pro and got mixed results. The option is not particularly intuitive.
Sadly, the application is still very basic compared to the features offered by Google Maps. Thus, Petal Maps does not offer to travel by using public transport. Likewise, the application does not adapt the routes if you are traveling on foot or by car.
Despite Huawei’s best efforts, Petal Maps is still a long way from Google Maps. Nonetheless, the navigation service is expected to evolve rapidly based on user feedback. Have you tested the app? We await your opinion in the comments below.