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Inside Petal Search

See Google search has a rival for Arthur Goldstuck’s review of Petal Search

Huawei’s search engine app, Petal Search, now is available in over 170 countries and regions and supports over 50 languages. It offers search across more than 20 categories, including apps, news, videos, images, shopping, flights, and local business. It also integrates tools like weather, calculator, and exchange rates.

Local apps include banking apps from Absa, Discovery Bank, and Standard bank, shopping from Woolworths and Zando, and entertainment from DSTV Now, Showmax and Supersport.

Petal Search uses artificial intelligence to let users search by taking photos or using images. This means it can automatically recognises a wide range of objects, like people, animals, and landmarks. As it evolves, it is expected to introduce new capabilities, like plant identification. For example, a user can take a photo of a food dish and Petal Search provides the recipe.

Voice search supports English, Spanish, French, and Arabic, among other.

Petal goes beyond regular search, however. It includes a powerful and rapidly evolving answer to Google Maps. Petal Maps offers “positioning services, immersive map displays, place searches, driving navigation and favourite place lists” in more than 140 countries and regions, in multiple languages, with voice notifications in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Mandarin.

It gives real-time transit updates in several major cities – a list that is likely to grow rapidly – so that it becomes both a navigational and commuter route planning tool. It uses pioneering location technologies like Super GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), an alternative to GPS, as well as image recognition algorithms, to improve accuracy and provide less congested routes.

The main difference between GPS (Global Positioning System) and the European GNSS is that the latter can draw on information from all satellite navigation systems, including the NAVSTAR system developed by the USA for GPS, and Russia’s GLONASS. This makes for greater accuracy and reliability in general.

While Petal Search gives access to the standard Microsoft Office suite, it also introduces users to Huawei’s alternative, Docs, which supports document viewing and editing across more than 50 formats, including PDF, PPT, and Doc. Real-time syncing of these documents is enabled by cloud capabilities, meaning that Huawei Docs lets users seamlessly work on the same document on different devices logged into the same Huawei ID.

Huawei says Petal Search is compliant with security policies, laws, and regulations in every country in which it is available. It is certified with the ePrivacyseal data protection seal of approval and complies with GDPR requirements. The search engine also provides a variety of search modes, including safe search and incognito mode.

“With the cooperation with global and local partners, Petal Search is vigorously developing local life search services, to provide users a rich location-based and scenario-based search experience,” the company said in a statement. “With Petal Search, Huawei is committed to maintaining an open search ecosystem.”

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