Using Google Circle to Search on a Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google may introduce split-screen support for Circle to Search, allowing users to utilize the feature while running two apps side by side on Pixel phones.
  • Mishaal Rahman discovered a flag in the Pixel Launcher app of Android 15 Beta 1.2, suggesting that Pixel phones could soon access Circle to Search in split-screen mode.
  • The lack of Circle to Search support in split-screen mode only affects Pixels, excluding compatible Samsung phones, which seems unusual and may indicate a development bug rather than an intentional restriction.

Google’s Pixel phones might be adding split-screen support for Circle to Search, meaning you could soon use the feature while running two apps side by side on your screen.

Writing for Android Authority, Mishaal Rahman found something interesting while digging into the Pixel Launcher app bundled with the Android 15 Beta 1.2 release. The Android expert spotted a flag that could let Pixel phones use Circle to Search while running apps in split-screen mode.

Circle to Search initially debuted on the Galaxy S24 series before making its way to Google’s Pixel devices. It has gained popularity among users who appreciate its speedy and convenient way to search for information by just circling on their screen.

Unlike Samsung phones with Circle to Search support, Pixel phones currently can’t use it in split-screen mode. It does seem odd for Google to intentionally restrict Circle to Search on its own devices, suggesting it might be a bug that slipped in during development.

Circle to Search is integrated into the Google app, as Rahman points out. This implies that switching the default digital assistant from Google to another service could cause the feature to stop working. Initially, it appeared that this restriction might be related to Android’s Assist API, but Rahman later discovered that wasn’t the case.

For Pixel owners who like multitasking but also want a speedy search option, this Circle to Search issue has been frustrating. Luckily, Android 15 is set to drop in the fall, so Pixel users won’t have to wait too long to enjoy this handy new feature.

This enhancement will make Circle to Search even more handy, enabling users to search for information without disrupting their multitasking flow when using two apps at once.

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More recently, it was found that Circle to Search could also gain “Copy Image” and “Share Image” options soon. This means tapping “Copy Image” will let you copy what’s in Circle to Search, then edit it on your device.

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.

[ For more curated Samsung news, check out the main news page here]

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