Yesterday, at the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S24, Google introduced a way to search on mobile phones—dubbed “Circle to Search.” This innovative feature enables Android users to conduct searches using three distinct gestures: circling, highlighting, and scribbling. In a live demonstration on the Galaxy S24, Google showcased the functionality by circling glasses or scribbling on a handbag in an image of woman wearing and holding same, resulting in search outcomes from various online retail stores. If you’re already familiar with Google Lens, you wouldn’t see a very big difference between the two.
The Circle to Search capability is powered by Gemini Mobile, Google’s latest multimodal language model designed for mobile devices. While originally showcased on the Galaxy S24 through a partnership with Samsung, this AI model is expected to extend to Google’s next Pixel smartphone model. Moreover, it is anticipated to be compatible with select premium Android smartphones, including Oneplus and Xiaomi flagships, as well as the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. The preference for flagship devices is attributed to their more robust specifications, better suited to handle on-device AI compared to mid-range or entry-level smartphones.
Despite its current alignment with high-end models, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Circle to Search feature eventually trickles down to less powerful smartphones in the coming years. As technology becomes more optimized for less powerful hardware, the accessibility of this innovative search functionality may broaden, offering a unique and intuitive search experience across a wider range of Android devices.