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Circle to Search Launches on Samsung Galaxy S24 and Pixel 8, Bringing AI to Your Fingertips

Right now, Circle to Search isn't available on iPhone.

Imad Khan Senior Reporter
Imad is a senior reporter covering Google and internet culture. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with The New York Times, The Washington Post, ESPN, Tom's Guide and Wired, among others.
Expertise Google | Internet Culture
Imad Khan
2 min read
hand holding stylus draws a circle on a Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra to search

Samsung demonstrated Google's Circle to Search feature at the launch event for the Galaxy S24 line of phones.

Samsung/Screenshot by CNET

Google searches on the Pixel 8Pixel 8 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S24 phones are now substantially more powerful thanks to the new Circle to Search feature, Google said in a press release Wednesday. Starting today, this feature lets you pull up Google while using any app. Circle or highlight any text or object and, with the power of AI, instantly get search results about that text or object. 

Circle to Search, as the name suggests, lets you circle any object to search for it. For example, if you see a TikTok featuring funky-looking corn dogs, you can swipe up to bring up the Google app and circle the food item with your finger. Using AI, Google will give you the brief on Korean corn dogs. The AI can also explain the cultural relevance of Korean food in the current gastronomical zeitgeist. 

The power here isn't only being able to search any object or text you see on your screen but doing so without having to fumble between multiple apps. 

This announcement coincides with Samsung's announcement earlier this month of the same feature coming to the new Galaxy S24 line of phones. At the moment, other phones with this more powerful in-app version of Google Search haven't been announced.

Watch this: 'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen

Google's continued love affair with AI comes after ChatGPT upended its Search mojo in late 2022. When ChatGPT launched, the AI chatbot could seemingly answer any question with unique answers, compared with a standard Google search, which brings up lists of websites requiring you to filter and find relevant information. Both Google and Microsoft were quick to introduce AI chatbots of their own to stay competitive. 

Since then, Microsoft's AI investments has catapulted the company into becoming the most valuable in the world, overtaking Apple earlier this month. Google is also integrating AI into more of its products, from Search itself with Search Generative Experience to the camera app on its Pixel devices. Considering that generative AI is estimated to bring in up to $4.4 trillion annually, according to McKinsey, companies are rushing to be at the cutting edge to maintain market dominance. 

Along with Circle to Search, Google said that multisearch in Lens is also getting an AI-powered upgrade. In the past, if you saw a dress you liked, Google Lens would be able to identify that dress and you could then ask Google to search for variations in other colors. Now those visual matches will give AI-powered insights, allowing you to ask more nuanced questions. The example Google posits is seeing a board game at a yard sale without the box. Google Lens can identify the game, and you can ask what that game is called and how it can be played. 

Editors' note: CNET is using an AI engine to help create some stories. For more, see this post.