Google announced today that its new Circle to Search feature is rolling out globally on the Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S24 series. The new feature, which was unveiled earlier this month, lets users search from anywhere on their phone using gestures like circling, highlighting, scribbling or tapping.
The tech giant believes the new feature aims to make it more natural to engage with Google Search whenever a questions pops into your head, like when you’re watching a video or looking at an image on social app. For example, if you’re watching a video where someone is eating a Korean corn dog, you could circle the corn dog and ask, “Why are these so popular?”
The feature can be engaged through other gestures, as well, not just circles. If you’re chatting in a messaging app with a friend about a restaurant, you could simply tap on the name of the restaurant to see more details about it without having to leave the app.
Circle to Search also makes it easier to look up definitions of words or phrases. Say you’re watching a video featuring a drink with the word “prebiotic” on it, but you don’t know what it means or how it’s different from “probiotic.” In the past, you would have to leave whatever app you’re using and go to your browser to search for the word. Now, you can long press the home button or navigation bar to activate Circle to Search and highlight “prebiotic” to learn more about it. When you’re done, you just need to swipe away and resume the video.
With Circle to Search, you will be able to access search from any app, which means you no longer have to stop what you’re doing to start a search in your browser. Plus, if you’re someone who takes a screenshot to remind yourself to search something up later, you no longer have to do that as you can search right away without interrupting what you’re currently doing.