Google Maps users eye up switch to Huawei with huge Petal Maps update

Huawei takes on Google Maps with bigger and better route options

Huawei Petal Maps
(Image credit: Huawei Maps )

Kicking off from this week, Petal Maps is updating its app with public transport navigation in 16 countries, alongside cycle route planning in 11 countries. Huawei burst onto the navigation scene last year with the Petal Maps application; it followed announcements it was shunning Google applications on some of its Huawei Mate handsets, including Google Maps, which is a flagship guidance app across Android OS, plus iOS on the likes of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro

The new update looks to drum up support from existing Google Maps users, hoping to pinch them to Huawei's service, through a much broader range of Petal Maps features. When Huawei announced its intention to not support Google Maps, it left many users lost in the wilderness, devoid of a compass, and without the comfort of Google Maps' pin. It ruffled the feathers of some Huawei users, who didn’t want to rely solely on its native navigation app, Petal Maps.

Well, the good news is that Huawei has rekindled its Petal Maps mojo, rolling out the scintillating update to boost functionality: you can now plot your walking route, plan bike trails if you prefer being on wheels, even monitor live departure schedules for public transport, so you can ferry yourself from A to B, with complete ease.

It comes against the backdrop of jazzy new screen updates to Google Maps, recently giving the app split-screen functionality for a multi-perspective look at where you are. Petal Maps' new update will overhaul its existing features that remain a little less comprehensive than Google Maps.

You can take advantage of the newly expanded route planning on Petal Maps through the Huawei AppGallery. You simply need to have the latest version downloaded and the features will be natively available to use for road-tripping, hiking, or anything else that brings out the inner-navigator in you.

Huawei’s Air Gestures works with the update – the magical touch-free feature that works on the Huawei Mate 40 series, including the Huawei Mate 40 Pro and Huawei P40, enables users to control map functions without actually touching the screen. It can be toggled on in the 'Settings' and 'Accessibility' part of your Huawei phone, reportedly working on the Huawei P30 Pro, as well.

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Not that Petal Maps is lacking, though: an assortment of nifty features come equipped, letting you save different locations and then sync them across the cloud for immediate access. This is good for quickly retrieving routes to well-trodden, familiar locales; it works well with Petal Maps’ interactive 3D Maps, where you can zoom in on routes, tilt the screen, and use other gestures to control the environment.

As soon as lockdown eases, such updates will be essential to getting back out and traveling. In the interim, it's a good period to get accustomed to the new features without the risk of getting lost in the nearby field. Take a look at our best Huawei phone guide to nab a slick model from the Chinese phone giant; alternatively, if you prefer a more varied OS choice, head over to our pick of the best smartphones for a wider selection of handsets.