Huawei’s groundbreaking Petal Search app is helping users install content that...

Huawei’s groundbreaking Petal Search app is helping users install content that...
Huawei’s groundbreaking Petal Search app is helping users install content that...
You may remember when we told you in May that Huawei plans to bypass the manufacturer’s listing on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s entity list. The US put the company on this list because they view the company as a national security threat. Put on the entity list, Huawei is banned from accessing its U.S. supply chain, which means it cannot license the Google Mobile Services version of Android. It also means that Google’s Android apps like Search, Maps, YouTube, the Play Store, Drive and Gmail cannot be installed on a Huawei phone. Most of Google’s apps are banned in China anyway, so only the international variant of the company’s phones are affected.

The Huaali Petal Search app finds third party app stores that store apps that are banned from Huawei phones

The placement of the entity list also means that Huawei cannot work with US companies, including app developers. As a result, Huawei’s phones both inside and outside of China don’t offer users a choice of popular U.S. apps. In Huawei’s own AppGallery Android app distribution platform, for example, you will not find any apps like Amazon, Snapchat, and AccuWeather. As we pointed out in May, Huawei has developed a new search engine called Petal Search. Petal Search not only lists “daily weather forecasts and top news, live sports results and schedules, video, image and music searches, as well as financial news and stock market updates”. When it comes to travel, “millions of hotels around the world are searched, rooms booked, flights and travel information checked for the world’s top destinations.” Petal Search will also “look up local services and businesses with comprehensive directories”. But that’s not the exciting cool feature. When you open Petal Search and tap the name of an app, the search engine looks for the app you want. If the title is found in the AppGallery, it will be installed on your Huawei handset. If Petal Search can’t find an entry, it will search third-party app stores for it. When the app is found, you can download it to your phone by simply tapping the Install button.

The Petal Search app helps Huawei users install apps that they are technically prohibited from using

When we first heard about Petal Search, we told you the idea behind it was to help Huawei customers find and install apps that are blocked due to the US ban. This includes Google’s own Android apps and social media and entertainment apps developed in the USA. According to Forbes, Petal Search is now a full-service search engine as well. Petal was even introduced for the new flagship Mate 40 last week.

With the US still offended by Huawei’s will to survive, the company may have to leave the smartphone industry and focus on providing an ecosystem to other phone manufacturers. Huawei has created its own mobile services ecosystem with over 700 million users, an annual gain of 32% over the previous year. More importantly, the number of Huawei registered app developers grew 76% year over year to 1.6 million. This is of great concern as Huawei is becoming more of a challenge for other phone manufacturers as more developers work on content for HMS.

The biggest challenge Huawei is currently facing is finding a foundry that can produce state-of-the-art chips without using American technology. The US Department of Commerce had already changed its export rules in May to prevent foundries like TSMC from sending chips to Huawei without a special license issued by the US. Recently, it was found that the Chinese manufacturer ordered 15 million units of its 5nm Kirin 9000 chipset, but only received 8.8 million of them. The new export rule came into effect on September 15th.

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