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Can't get Circle To Search? Google Lens could have you covered (APK teardown)

You could soon search for content in videos and make easier translations in Google Lens.

Published onMay 8, 2024

Google Lens stock photos 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • A teardown has revealed that Google Lens could gain two changes to bring it in line with Circle to Search.
  • The first would be the ability to search for content in videos, while the second would offer a new translate button.

Circle to Search is a pretty nifty way to search for content on your screen, but it’s restricted to recent Samsung and Google phones right now. Fortunately, Google Lens offers similar functionality for older phones, and it could be getting even more functionality to bring it in line with Circle to Search.

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.

We discovered evidence that Google Lens will get two more notable features in a teardown of the Google app (version beta). The first feature is the ability to select videos and search for content in a specific frame. Google will also offer play and pause controls in the top-right corner so you can find a specific frame. Check out the screenshots below.

You simply need to activate Circle To Search while watching a video to search for content in a frame. But this is still a handy addition to Google Lens as way more devices have access to Lens. Circle To Search is limited to recent Google and Samsung flagships, while Lens supports Android 6.0 devices and newer.

Google is also working on a translate button in the Google Lens viewfinder, visible in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Tapping the button once would put you in translate mode, while a second tap would switch back to the standard search mode. Google Lens already lets you translate text via your camera or a saved image, but this currently requires you to switch to the “translate” tab. The new translate button would be a little more convenient and seems to be in line with the translate button in the Circle to Search UI (seen in the first image below). 

Either way, we’re glad to see these two changes potentially coming to Google Lens. It means that people with much older phones (e.g. 2015 or later) can still enjoy some of the fringe benefits of Circle To Search. Now, about bringing the actual Circle To Search gesture to more devices.

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