Huawei has been facing problems since the middle of 2019 as the U.S. Commerce Department’s Entity List, which has prevented them from licensing Google Mobile Services for new devices. Huawei has changed its international smartphone release strategy for the first few months to focus on launching basically rebranded versions of its existing ones. Huawei has worked behind the scenes on AppGallery, its competitor to the Google Play Store, and Huawei Mobile Services, an alternative to Google Play Services. With the recent introduction of the Honor View30 Pro and the launch of the Huawei P40 series coming this year. Huawei will need to persuade potential customers to function without Google Apps. One of the most common features missing on Google-less devices from Huawei right now is a standalone search app, but that could change as soon as Huawei is now developing the Huawei Search app in beta.
Unlike the Google App that not only offers access to Google’s search engine, but also to Google Assistant, Google Lens, Google Podcasts, and more, Huawei Search is a simple search app that allows you to enter a query to search websites, photos, news articles, or photographs on the Internet. There’s a shortcut for seeing the current weather, which brings up a widget of the latest 24-hour forecast operated by Huafeng-AccuWeather, a joint venture that the China Meteorological Administration apparently forecasts data. The user may show their search history (or turn it off) in Preferences, give feedback, adjust their search area and language, toggle protected search or modify the search distance of the app, which also determines what Huawei apps the Huawei Search software can search. And yeah, and the app supports the dark-themed EMUI 10.
Under the Huawei Search User Agreement, the app is run by Aspiegel Limited, Ireland-based subsidiary of Huawei. In 2019, Huawei shifted much of its mobile software services to Aspiegel to ease concerns regarding user data handling by the company. The User Agreement notes that consumers “must have a Huawei Identity” to use the feature and that the software is “only accessible in the Huawei App as an app or integrated application registered in Huawei apps, such as Assistant (i.e. search is not freely available on the web).” Ironically, we find that Huawei Application can be reached by clicking to this URL in any web browser.
For now, the app seems to be quite constrained in what it can do, and the software itself seems to be intended only for use on Huawei smartphones. It would be premature to say that Huawei Search is an alternative to Google Search or Microsoft Bing, but there is a possibility for this service to grow down the line into a respectable rival and we are eagerly waiting for it.
Let us know what you think about this initiative by Huawei in the comment section below.