Galaxy S24 and Pixel 8 to make searching more interactive via Circle to Search

Circle to Search feature
(Image credit: Google/Samsung)

At Unpacked 2024, Samsung revealed it’s entering a partnership with Google as the two plan to introduce AI-powered features that'll change the way people look up information on the internet.

It’s called Circle to Search and what it does is allow people to circle, highlight, scribble on, or tap on-screen subjects to quickly access Google Search. One of the primary examples given in the announcement is it can be used to look up articles of clothing you may be interested in buying.

Let’s say, you come across a pair of sunglasses you like on social media, but the original poster doesn’t mention where they got them from. What you can do is “long press the home button or navigation bar” on Android to activate Circle to Search. 

You then circle the sunglasses with the tool and a Google Search results page will pop up from the bottom of the screen showing the highlighted product as well as other similar-looking options. Each one will be paired up with a retailer for easy purchasing. Google states Circle to Search can be used on multiple objects. So if you also like the jacket in the initial social media post, you can highlight that and the sunglasses at the same time. Both will appear on the subsequent results page.

Answering questions

Circle to Search, in addition to helping you upgrade your closet, can answer your tough questions as its AI can understand a variety of concepts. 

In another example, a very opulent-looking corn dog was circled by a demonstrator who then entered, “Why are these so popular?” into the search bar. A few seconds later, the AI responds stating that it’s a Korean corn dog, and then explaining why people love these.

What’s interesting about the AI response is it appeared to be a slightly changed version of Google’s Search Engine Experience (SGE). It follows a similar layout with sources inside individual cards down at the bottom. And lastly, the feature can double as a dictionary. Highlighting words or terms you see online brings up their definition on-screen. 

AI upgrades

Circle to Search will roll out globally on January 31 to the Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, plus every phone in the Galaxy S24 series. It’ll be available “in all languages and locations” wherever these devices are sold.

The Samsung-Google partnership runs deeper than this single feature as the S24 devices will house the Gemini Pro and Imagen 2 models. The former will power several smartphone abilities like the summarization tool on Samsung Notes. Imagen 2, on the other hand, is said to enable the Galaxy S24’s “photo-editing capabilities” such as Generative Edit in the Gallery app.

Galaxy S24 preorders are currently open with prices starting at $800 for the standard and going up to $1,600 for the S24 Ultra model. If you’re thinking of preordering, be sure to do so through TechRadar’s exclusive promotion. You’ll get a free storage upgrade and up to $750 off on a trade-in. 

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Cesar Cadenas

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.