As of 1 March however, the testing has been put on hold “until further notice”.
Huawei states in its community post that it is working on new version of this beta app with improvements added based on community feedback received during the early testing.
Originally, testing of the beta app was incentivised with the “top 3 testers” each receiving a Mate 30 Pro 5G phone for their troubles, with a further 20 testers being gifted a pair of Huawei Free Buds 3.
The story here, however, is that Huawei is clearly putting a lot of time and energy into ensuring it can replace Google’s services, including one of the key elements of Google Play Services on Android phones: search.
So far, a lot of Huawei’s resources have been put into helping developers get their apps in the Huawei App Gallery (the manufacturer’s alternative to the Play Store).
Similarly, it’s signed a deal with TomTom to provide maps and navigation services, in order to replace Google Maps.
While we haven’t been able to test the Huawei Search app ourselves, screenshots posted by XDA-Developers show a similar interface to Google’s primary Search screen.
It features weather snippets, news cards with thumbnail images, plus video and images search as well as sports, calendar integration and unit conversion.
The search service is being managed by an Ireland-based subsidiary of Huawei’s called Aspiegel, and early indication suggests Huawei isn’t relying on any third party for its search results.
XDA Devs – who tested the app – couldn’t get results to match any popular search service, not even the smaller ones like Ask or DuckDuckGo.
While Huawei is clearly trying to make its ecosystem as strong as possible in the event it’s not allowed to work with Google as a partner ever again, there has been some movement from the search giant’s side.
Recently it was revealed that Google has applied for a license to partner with Huawei again. Whether or not the US regulators accept that request is yet to be seen.