American multinational tech major Google on Wednesday announced the launch of ‘Circle to Search’, an AI-powered multisearch experience, on select premium Android smartphones. Google Search Vice President Cathy Edwards demonstrated the newest feature at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event held in San Jose, California. Along with the Samsung Galaxy S24 series, the Circle to Search feature is set to debut globally on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro on January 31 in all the available languages and locations.
Google’s introduction of Circle to Search is a shift in how we interact with technology, making the act of searching a more integrated part of our digital lives. The latest feature saves the hassle of switching between the apps and enables users to search directly from their screen. Users can now trigger Google Search by simple gestures like circling, highlighting, or tapping on screen elements like images, text, or videos. This seamless integration caters to the moment when curiosity strikes, be it during a text conversation, social media browsing, or video watching.
“When something grabs your interest, it can be disruptive to stop what you’re doing and use another app or browser to start searching for information. But now, whether you’re texting friends, browsing social media or watching a video, you can search what’s on your screen right when your curiosity strikes,” Google said in a blog. “And as we’ve shared, Search and Shopping ads will continue to appear in dedicated ad slots throughout the results page.”
To activate Google’s new Circle to Search feature on the supported Android device, users simple have to long press the home button or the navigation bar the smartphone. Once activated, users need to select the content they want to know more about. This can be done by circling, highlighting, or tapping on text, images, or videos within apps on your device. Following the content selection, the feature will use it to initiate a Google search, providing related information or results from the web.
Furthermore, Google emphasizes user privacy and data security in the newest update. ‘Circle to Search’ operates primarily on-device, ensuring user data remains private until a search is explicitly initiated. Additionally, users have the option to quickly remove the last 15 minutes of their search history, further enhancing privacy controls.