As the old saying goes, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. Microsoft is seemingly giving Google a huge compliment as new info reveals the tech giant is working on its own version of Circle to Search for Edge.
If you’re not familiar, Circle to Search is a recently released AI-powered feature on the Pixel 8 and Galaxy S24 series of phones. It allows people to circle objects on their mobile devices to quickly look them up on Google Search. Microsoft’s rendition functions similarly. According to the news site Windows Report, it’s called Circle To Copilot. The way it works you circle an on-screen object with the cursor – in this case, it’s an image of the Galaxy S24 Ultra.
Immediately after, Copilot appears from the right side with the circled image attached as a screenshot in an input box. You then ask the AI assistant what the object is in the picture, and after a few seconds, it’ll generate a response. The publication goes on to state the tool also works with text. To highlight a line, you will also need to draw a circle around the words.
Windows Report states Circle To Copilot is currently available on the latest version of Microsoft Edge Canary which is an experimental build of the browser. It’s meant for users or developers who want early access to potential features. The publication has a series of instructions explaining how you can activate Circle To Copilot. You'll need to enter a specific command into the browser's Properties menu.
If the command works for you, Circle To Copilot can be enabled by going to the Mouse Gesture section of Edge’s Settings menu and then clicking the toggle switch. It’s the fourth entry from the top.
Work in progress
We followed Windows Report's steps ourselves; however, we were unable to try out the feature. All we got was an error message stating the command to activate the tool was not valid. It seems not everyone who installs Edge Canary will gain access, although this isn’t surprising.
The dev browser is, not surprisingly, unstable. It’s a testing ground for Microsoft so things don’t always work as well as they should; if at all. It is possible Circle To Copilot will function better in a future patch, however, we don’t know when that will be rolling out. We are disappointed the feature was inaccessible on our PC because we had a couple of questions. Is this something that needs to be manually triggered on Copilot? Or will it function like Ask Copilot where you highlight a piece of content, right-click it, and select the correct option in the context menu?
Out of curiosity, we installed Edge Canary on our Android phone to see if it had the update. As it turns out, no. It may be Circle To Copilot is exclusive to Edge on desktop, but this could change in the future.
Be sure to check TechRadar's list of the best AI-powered virtual assistant for 2024.
You might also like
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.