Circle to Search is now rolling out to the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro

Samsung’s much-touted Circle to Search feature, which was part of the huge batch of AI-related stuff it introduced for the Galaxy S24 family, quickly turned out not to be in any way exclusive to the Korean company. The day after the S24 announcement, Google casually unveiled the same feature for its Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

Google’s Circle to Search was then said to start rolling out on January 31, and indeed it has. According to multiple reports on Reddit, it’s now available on both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. This isn’t coming through a firmware update, by the way, it seems to be a server-side switch so it just ‘magically’ appears.

If you have one of Google’s latest smartphones, note that you won’t get any indication that Circle to Search is live. Just try to use it and it should work – that is, assuming that this isn’t one of Google’s trademark staged rollouts.

Circle to Search works anywhere on your phone. To activate it you need to long press the navigation bar and then you can just start circling and highlighting items on-screen. It’s much quicker and easier to use than Google Lens was – but it uses the same backend as Lens, which supports multimodal search queries so you can use both text and images.

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