A lot have been going on with Huawei and the U.S. government, since the country decided to ban all its relationships with the Chinese tech company for economic and security reasons. Even though this has been really tough for Huawei, since its devices won’t count with the support of important companies like Google or Microsoft, the Chinese conglomerate have started working on different solutions to this problem, for example the HMS core, the Petal Search and of course Petal Maps.
Since now the company can’t count with the services of Google for vital apps like Google Play Store, Google’s search engine or Google maps, Huawei have come up with its own solutions. The most modern devices from the company use Huawei Mobile Services Core (HMS Core) to replace the functions of Google on Android; alongside HMS Core the company also launched its own search engine called Petal Search, its own app store called App Gallery and its own maps app called Petal Maps.
If you want to use this new map app, don’t stop reading, since we’re about to tell you everything that you have to know about Petal Map, how to download it and its main features.
What is Petal Maps?
Petal Maps is the alternative navigation app for Huawei now that the company doesn’t count with the support from Google. Even though this app is recent and doesn’t truly compare to Google Maps, it’s actually much better than most people expect, since it delivers a good experience and it will take you from point A to point B without problems.
Although it’s true that Huawei’s App Gallery offers different options for navigation apps like TomTom maps for example, the fact of not having such an essential and developed app like Google maps it’s a low blow. Luckily Petal Maps have received an excellent response from its early users and after trying it we have understood why.
The app is now available for 140 countries and regions, offering optimized location information. Don’t worry about the most basic need of navigation since Petal Maps covers all the basics and it has a lot of useful extra features that despite not being as polished as those of other applications, they are still pretty decent.
How to download Petal Maps?
Petal Maps is currently the only option for the latest Huawei devices, but if you want to give it a try there wouldn’t be a problem with that, since the app is available for any mobile device that runs on Android. Since this is an app created by a specific brand, you would expect to be exclusive for that brand and its devices, but the truth is that Huawei developed the HMS to create a framework that works without needing a specific system layer.
Even though Huawei smartphones won’t have the opportunity to install Google Play, at least not in an easy way, other Android devices can actually install Huawei’s App Gallery and it’s a simple process that will give the user access to all the Huawei apps. The App Gallery itself will give you specific steps to do all the things needed to enjoy Huawei’s store of applications including Petal Maps of course.
There are multiple ways to install Petal Maps exclusively on any Android mobile device, but the safest way to do this is by installing the App Gallery first and then you would have access to all of its content in the most secure way. So before installing Petal Maps we’ll explain to you how to get the App Gallery.
Steps to download Petal Maps
- Go to https://appgallery.huawei.com/#/app/C27162?appId=C27162&source=appshare&subsource=C27162 and press download.
- Install the app, launch it and accept the terms and conditions.
- Probably the store will ask you to update it, access to that.
- Give App Gallery permission to install APKs.
- Once the app has been updated you’ll need to install Huawei mobile services, the app will take you to Google Play to do this.
- Download the HMS core and update it on the section that says “me” on the bottom right corner of the screen.
- Once you have the latest version of App Gallery and the HMS core, you can enter the gallery and type “Petal Map” on the Petal search.
- Choose the right option and press install.
- After it’s done installing it, launch the app.
- Accept the terms and conditions and that’s it you can start enjoying this navigation app.
Features of Petal Maps
The best thing about Petal Maps is its simplicity, since anybody can learn to use it really fast. The interface is very user friendly and once you open the app you won’t have any problem to read the maps, as they are very clear and straight to the point thanks to the data from another famous navigation app that we have already mentioned before called TomTom.
You’ll count with a favorite list of locations that includes an option for “Home” and “Work”, but of course you can add more locations once you start using the app. The most common use for this app is to let you know how to get to a specific place and you can count with Petal Maps for this without hesitation, just type in the search bar where you want to go, then tap in that direction and you’ll immediately see all the available routes that you can take with the approximated time of arrival.
Also the app is equipped with the useful feature of real time publish transit, in which you can add a layer to your route to know how the traffic in those areas is. This is ideal for when you want to plan a trip and you want to make it to your destination in the least time possible. Of course this is not as precise as Google and other maps, since it only collects data from Petal Search, but this doesn’t mean it’s bad at all.
Once you trace your route, you can activate voice indications that will guide you like any other GPS. Currently the app offers English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Mandarin voice notifications, but we’re sure that Huawei will extend the options as time passes. If you’re looking for specific places inside your area like restaurants, cafes or malls, just type in the search bar what you’re looking for and the app will show you all the available options.
The latest update allows you to know more about the local life, since you can see the most popular localized information, also the algorithm will determine which places you might like and will put those recommendations in the first results of your searches. Also another great feature of this app is the fact that you can use gesture control to change the navigation view to the map overview by just putting your palm in front of your device, but of course this is only available for the Mate 40.
The normal view of the map allows you to see everything clear and if you zoom in, you can actually see the 3-D buildings of the area, it’s something really useful and attractive to see when you’re trying to identify your location. Once you have your route, you can change to the navigation view, in which you’ll see everything in a different color and without the 3-D so you don’t get distracted.
The app is constantly making the navigation easier by determining the best route turn by turn. Don’t worry about data leaks, since Huawei assures that your privacy is secured with end to end encryption.
Comparison between Petal Maps and Google Maps
It’s impossible to not make a comparison between these 2 navigation apps, since every navigation app has to take Google Maps as the standard. It might be clear by now that Petal Maps is still just a beta, but this is not a reason to underestimate it, since you can easily move across 140 different countries using this app without any big inconvenience, at least none that we have found.
Let’s start by looking at the most important part, the maps. If you take the maps from Google and the maps from Petal Map, it’s possible that you don’t see the difference. Since Google Maps is the standard, Huawei took the most of its looks from it and some icons too. So if you’re used to the Google Map’s aesthetic, you won’t have to see anything different once you download Petal Maps.
Huawei’s navigation app does currently have an important inconvenience because you only have routes with an approximated time of arrival that is based on car transportation. If you want to know how much time it will take you to get to some place by walking or on public transportation, you won’t have that option with Petal Maps or at least not yet.
Another big difference between these two is the fact that you only count with two layers on Petal Maps, meaning that you can only see the actual map and the traffic layer. Google Maps offers a wide variety of layers, but we have to remember that Google Maps has been on the market for over 15 years, so we only have to give Huawei time to add more layers.
The navigation screen of Petal Maps is also very similar to the one of Google Maps, since you can see the same angles and the same icons. Basically everything that it will change are the colors and the position of some specific buttons, but the rest of Petal Map’s Navigation screen resembles a lot to the one of its competition.
When it comes to indication and searches, Petal Maps offers pretty basic information compared to Google Maps, as you will only see the name of the place inside Huawei’s Navigation app alongside a number to communicate with that place and the address. Even though it’s not too much information, Petal Map has at least the name and number of most of the places of interest inside all of its areas, unless it’s too recent.
On the settings screen you can find too little options for Petal Maps like your favorite list, the background of the app, the units to measure distance and some other settings like the language of the voice notifications and the app itself.
Future of Petal Maps
Since it doesn’t look like the U.S. government has no intentions of taking back the ban, it looks like we can expect a lot more of Huawei apps like Petal Maps and the HMS core itself. Right now Petal Maps is just a draft, but we’re sure that with some time it will certainly reach higher levels with more layers, more accurate information and more features to make users comfortable with being on the streets.
Maybe the company will develop its own data to fuel Petal Maps, so they can stop relying on other navigation apps to provide information. Even though the app could become an impressive and more than decent option, it would be hard for it to reach Google Map’s performance, since the database of Google is way more extent that the one provided by Huawei devices only, but who knows?
By now every Huawei mobile device that came out before May still counts with Google services and updates, but if some of these devices has a problem with the software it won’t count with any kind of support. The other more recent Huawei devices would include the App Gallery automatically, so if your Huawei phone it’s from before May we highly recommend you to change to HMS core before some accident happens and you’re forced to install this software.
Overall Petal Map is a great choice for a navigation app and that is actually a relief for most Huawei users, we hope that this quick guide on Petal Maps has helped you to understand more about this application and its most significant features. Remember to travel safe and have fun on all your journeys. With that we say goodbye and we will see you next time.