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Galaxy S24 and Pixel 8 series are getting a brand new Google-made AI feature

Circle To Search marries the powers of Google Lens and Assistant's What's On My Screen feature with generative AI in the mix.

Published onJanuary 17, 2024

  • The Samsung Galaxy S24 series comes with a feature called Circle To Search that’s built entirely by Google.
  • Powered by AI, Circle To Search allows users to select and search for anything they see on their screens without leaving the app they’re using.
  • The feature will also be available on the Pixel 8 series later this month, but it’s unclear when it’ll trickle down to older Galaxy flagships or other Android phones.

The Galaxy S24 series is here with loads of new AI features powered by Samsung’s new universal AI called Galaxy AI. One such feature is independently developed for Samsung by Google and will remain exclusive to the Galaxy S24 lineup in the non-Pixel Android universe. That’s right, the Galaxy S24 trio will be the only Android phones to get this Google-made feature apart from the Pixel 8 series.

Called Circle To Search, the AI feature allows users to search for anything they see on their Galaxy S24 screens by simply circling, highlighting, scribbling on, or tapping it. This includes any image, video, or text displayed on the screen. Users just need to long press the home screen button to initiate Circle To Search without the need to switch apps. Those who don’t have the three-button navigation enabled and use gesture navigation instead can long-press the navigation bar to start Circle To Search.

How does Circle To Search work and when will it be available?

Samsung Galaxy S24 Just Circle It prompt
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

For instance, you are browsing Instagram and see a beautiful location on a travel blog. You can just circle the image you see and get search results identifying the location and find links related to the place. Similarly, you can use Circle To Search over a video on YouTube or any other platform. It also works while texting, so if someone messages you the name of a restaurant, you can just circle it to get search results.

It’s sort of how Google Lens works, except you don’t need to snap a screenshot or go to the overview menu to initiate a Lens search. The feature is also reminiscent of Google Assistant‘s What’s On My Screen tool, which allowed Android users to touch and hold the home button to search for the contents on their screens.

Circle To Search goes a step further and also provides generative AI-powered overviews and more context based on a user’s location. It also allows you to ask more complex questions about your search queries.

Samsung has not confirmed if Circle To Search will remain exclusive to the Galaxy S24 series or if it’ll also trickle down to older flagships. However, Google has confirmed that it plans to bring the feature to a lot more Android phones in the future.

The Galaxy S24 series and the Pixel 8 series will get Circle To Search worldwide starting January 31. So if you’re buying the former, you should have it from day one.

Samsung Galaxy S24Samsung Galaxy S24
AA Recommended
Samsung Galaxy S24
Seven-year update commitment • Neat AI features • Robust battery life
MSRP: $799.99
Powerful AI smarts and slimmer bezels
The Samsung Galaxy S24 series focuses on added AI technology. With a 6.2-inch, 120Hz display, 128GB or 256GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, and up to 2,600 nits peak display brightness, the S24 is promising to be a quality update in the line. The new AI features go deep, improving your experience with the camera, search, and much more.
Samsung Galaxy S24 PlusSamsung Galaxy S24 Plus
AA Editor's Choice
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
Bright, sharp 1440p display • Excellent update commitment • Handy Galaxy AI features
MSRP: $999.99
New hardware, powerful AI tools
Packed with a lengthy suite of new AI features, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus is the 6.7-inch-sized base-model of the S24 series. Sharing most specs and features with the standard S24 model, the S24 Plus offers a larger battery, more storage space, 12GB of RAM, and a bump to Quad HD resolution. Built for those that want a larger display, but are not interested in the very best features available only in the S24 Ultra.
Samsung Galaxy S24 UltraSamsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
AA Editor's Choice
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Powerful, flexible cameras • Excellent update commitment • Brilliant flat display
MSRP: $1,299.99
The best of the best in the S24 series
Samsung's true flagship device, the Galaxy S24 Ultra offers the very best specs and features from any Galaxy phone to date. Ai and camera functions are the name of the game, with a 200MP primary camera, 50MP 5x telephoto, 10MP 3x telephoto, and 12MP ultrawide shooters. Smaller display bezels, 2,600 nit display, 5,000 mAh battery, an advanced cooling vapor chamber, up to 1TB of UFS 4.0 storage, and 12GB of RAM make for a powerful mobile computing system. The new ProVisual Engine offers AI-powered camera tools for photo and video capture.
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