How Circle to Search simplifies Google search on your phone

How Circle to Search simplifies Google search on your phone

Google has introduced a new feature that makes searching for information on your phone easier than ever. It’s called Circle to Search, and it lets you circle anything on your phone screen with your finger, tap a button, and get a page full of Google search results about it. No need to type, copy, or paste anything. Just circle and search.

Circle to Search is available on five phones for now: the Samsung Galaxy S24, S24 Plus, and S24 Ultra, and the Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro. Google says it will bring the feature to other “select, premium” Android phones soon.

If you want to use Circle to Search, you don’t have to open the Google app or any other app. You can use it anywhere on your device, whether you’re browsing the web, reading an email, or watching a video. All you have to do is long-press the home button if you’re using three-button navigation, or the navigation handle if you’re using gesture navigation. A circle icon will appear on the bottom right corner of your screen. Tap it, and you’ll see a blue circle on your screen that you can drag and resize to cover the subject of your search.

You can also highlight or tap a word or an image to select it. Then, tap the search button, and you’ll see a page of Google search results about the thing you circled.

For example, if you’re reading a news article about the latest Nobel Prize winners, and you want to know more about one of them, you can circle their name and tap search. You’ll get a page of results with their biography, achievements, and related news. Or, if you’re looking at a photo of a cute dog, and you want to know what breed it is, you can circle the dog and tap search. You’ll get a page of results with information about the dog’s breed, characteristics, and care tips.

Circle to Search
Image Source: Google Blogs

Why Circle to Search is useful

Circle to Search is not a revolutionary feature, but it is a convenient one. It saves you time and hassle by eliminating the need to switch between apps, take screenshots, or type queries. It also helps you find relevant information quickly and easily, without having to sift through unrelated results. It’s one of those features that just makes sense like your phone should have been able to do it all along.

Google’s multi-search feature, which is supported by Circle to Search, allows you to enhance your visual searches by including keywords or questions. This feature is already available in Google Lens, where you can search for items by capturing their pictures. For instance, if you take a photo of white shoes and wish to view them in red, you can search for them using Lens and add the word “red” to explore a distinct set of results featuring red shoes.

Now, with multisearch, you can also add complex questions to your visual search. For example, if you take a picture of a plant, and you want to know how to take care of it, you can search for it with Lens, and then ask, “How often should I water this?” You’ll get a page of results with answers to your questions. This is useful when you want to know more than just what something is, but also why it is, how it works, or what it means.

Multisearch is available in the Google app for any Android or iOS device, starting today in the US. Google says it will expand it to more countries and languages soon.

Circle to Search and multisearch are two features that show how Google is using AI to make search more efficient and effective on your phone. Whether you want to learn, explore, or discover, you can do it with a simple circle.