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Circle to Search could gain three new features soon (APK teardown)

Partial screenshot saving, a listen button, and a select-all-text button could soon come to Circle to Search.
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Published onMay 21, 2024

Circle to Search on a Pixel 7 Pro
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Our teardown of the Google app has uncovered more potential Circle to Search features.
  • One of these features is the ability to save the selected part of your screen to the cloud.
  • It also looks like text-to-speech functionality and a “select-all” button could come to the tool.

Circle to Search launched earlier this year, and it’s a more convenient way to search your smartphone screen. The tool has gained a few more features since its launch, and it now looks like three more features are incoming.

An APK teardown helps predict features that may arrive on a service in the future based on work-in-progress code. However, it is possible that such predicted features may not make it to a public release.

Android Authority, in conjunction with leaker AssembleDebug, discovered that Circle to Search could let you save the selected part of your screen to the cloud. We were able to get this feature working on our device (see the video below). We also discovered that Circle to Search could offer “listen” and “select all” buttons, suggesting that two existing Lens features are coming to Google’s new search tool. References to all three features were found in version 15.20.36.29 of the Google beta app.

Saving and sharing searched screenshots

It looks like Circle to Search will offer a “save” button in the resulting pop-up menu after selecting an area of the screen to search. These partial screenshots won’t be saved in your Google Photos library but rather in the “saved” tab of your Google app (accessible via google.com/interests/saved on the web). More specifically, these images get saved in an “uploaded images” collection by default.

The downside is that you can’t share individual screenshots from your collection, but you can share a link to the entire collection of images. Other people can also contribute to this collection, ostensibly adding their own screenshots and other images.

Two familiar Google Lens features incoming?

Google Circle To Search listen and select all buttons
AssembleDebug/Android Authority

Circle to Search could also gain “listen” and “select all” buttons. We were able to find these strings but weren’t able to activate these features, so we can’t definitively say how they’ll work. Nevertheless, it stands to reason that these features are derived from Google Lens.

Google Lens offers a “listen” button when you highlight text. Tapping this button allows Google’s text-to-speech engine to read it out for you. So, we’re guessing this same functionality will come to Circle to Search. This would be a great addition for accessibility purposes.

Lens also offers a “select text” button to highlight all the text in the camera viewfinder or in an image. It stands to reason that Circle to Search’s “select all” button will copy this behavior. This could be handy if you need to copy/paste swathes of text rather than just a few snippets.

In any event, these newly discovered features also come after Google confirmed that Circle to Search will soon help you with your homework. The Mountain View company also said Circle to Search is now on 100 million devices but that it plans to double that to 200 million devices by the end of the year.

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