Google's latest Pixel update brings Circle to Search to the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra with S Pen drawn, demonstrating Circle to Search
Circle to Search debuted with the Samsung Galaxy S24 series (above) (Image credit: Samsung)

Google routinely updates its best Pixel phones with new features outside of the usual Android update cycle, and the company’s latest software goodie bag contains several welcome upgrades for the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.

The biggest of these new features is Circle to Search, an AI-powered tool that lets you search the web for on-screen content using nothing but a scribble. Circle to Search debuted with the Samsung Galaxy S24 series in January, before later becoming available on the Google Pixel 8 and Google Pixel 8 Pro.

The feature works in exactly the same way on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro as it does on those aforementioned phones; to use Circle to Search, simply long-press the home button, then circle, scribble, highlight or tap an image, text or video. Et voilà! You’ll be instantaneously served up with some useful, Google-sourced information related to that subject.

It might sound like a gimmick, but in our testing of Samsung’s latest flagship phones, we found Circle to Search to be an easy-to-use and genuinely effective AI-powered tool, so we’re glad to see Google giving more Pixel owners the opportunity to try it out.


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As for the other new features introduced with the latest Pixel update, Google has also granted Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel Fold owners the ability to upload and share Ultra HDR photos – as well as 10-bit HDR Reels – to Instagram. As with Circle to Search, both of these features debuted with the Samsung Galaxy S24 line.

Google’s Call Screen feature has been upgraded, too. On any Pixel phone newer than the Pixel 6, you’re now able to prompt a silent caller to speak by tapping a “hello?” button. What’s more, if you can't answer a screened call immediately, Google Assistant will now let the caller know to wait a little longer before hanging up.

Other new Google Pixel features include partial screen recording (or sharing), and a “previously used with account” option in Fast Pair, which makes it easier to access and connect to previously paired accessories on new Pixel devices. Both features are available on any Pixel phone newer than the Pixel 5a, as well as the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet.

Google’s latest Pixel update – and therefore Circle to Search, Ultra HDR Instagram photo support, and so on – is now available to download in most global regions, though US Pixel owners will have to wait until March 11 for the option to appear.

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Axel Metz
Senior Staff Writer

Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.