Google’s ‘Circle to Search’ Feature is Now Available on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro

Pixel 8 series gets a boost with the new 'Circle to Search' feature!

  • Google quietly introduced the ‘Circle to Search’ feature on its Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro smartphones, which Reddit users confirmed.
  • The versatile feature allows users to perform searches and interact with content through gestures, providing a seamless experience.
  • There’s no clarity about its availability on other pixel devices like the Pixel 7a or Pixel Fold.

Last month, Samsung unveiled its 2024 flagship lineup, the Galaxy S24 series, and the centre of attraction during the entire launch was the AI. While the devices had many cool AI features, the one that caught everyone’s attention was “Circle to Search”, powered by Google. Now, the search giant has quietly introduced this feature on its Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro smartphones.

Reports on Reddit confirm that the feature is now live on both the latest Pixel devices, effective from January 31. Unlike typical updates, this seems to be a server-side change, making it appear seamlessly for users.

circle to search

To use ‘Circle to Search,’ users can long-press the navigation bar and start circling and highlighting items on the screen.

It’s a faster and more straightforward alternative to the Google Lens.

What sets this feature apart is its versatility – it works anywhere on the phone. Users can engage with it through various gestures, not just circles. For example, tapping a restaurant’s name in a messaging app provides more details without leaving the chat.

One practical aspect is its integration with Google Lens’ backend, supporting both text and image queries. This widens the scope for user interaction and search capabilities.

The feature also simplifies looking up definitions. For instance, when watching a video and encountering an unfamiliar term like “mattoid,” a long press on the home button or navigation bar activates ‘Circle to Search,’ allowing users to learn more about that term without leaving the video.

Unfortunately, Google has not revealed any information about the availability of this feature on other pixel devices like the Pixel 7a or Pixel Fold. On the other hand, Samsung has confirmed that its suite of Galaxy AI features, which includes the ‘Circle to Search’, will arrive on several Galaxy devices like the S23 series, S23 FE, Z Flip 5, Z Fold 5, and the Tab S9 in the first half of this year.