Google Unveils Circle to Search: A Fresh Approach to Search Anytime, Anywhere

Google Unveils Circle to Search: A Fresh Approach to Search Anytime, Anywhere

The internet is characterized by exploration, and Google Search has consistently been a front-runner in providing unmatched speed, diverse information, and relevance. Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, has been actively advancing search capabilities by incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI), offering users a more meaningful and engaging search experience.

In a recent announcement, Google introduced two new features designed to enhance the search experience for millions of users worldwide. These features not only facilitate easier access to search functions but also provide a wealth of additional information at users’ fingertips. Google’s investments in AI have paved the way for novel ways to articulate search queries in the most natural manner possible. The two noteworthy additions are Circle to Search and AI-powered overviews for multi-search in Lens.

Circle to Search: Revolutionizing Internet Exploration

This innovative feature allows users to seamlessly search for items directly on their Android phone screens without the need to switch applications. Activating this feature is as simple as making a gesture – whether it’s circling, highlighting, scribbling, or tapping on the desired object. The relevant information about the highlighted object is then displayed within the app itself.

For instance, if you’re watching a video by an influencer showcasing items without specifying the brands, Circle to Search can come to your rescue. By long-pressing the home button or navigation bar on your Android device, you can activate Circle to Search. Use your preferred gesture to select the item, such as a pair of sunglasses, and quickly discover similar options available from various online retailers. Once done, a simple swipe takes you back to your starting point.

Google emphasizes that, with AI-powered enhancements and multi-search capabilities, users can simultaneously search with both text and images. This enables a better understanding of concepts, ideas, or topics by pulling relevant information from across the web. Initially available on select premium Android devices like the Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, and the new Samsung Galaxy S24 Series, Circle to Search aims to provide a more natural and intuitive way for users to express their needs.

Circle to Search is a meaningful step forward in helping people express their needs and stay in their context. Multi-search is something I’m very excited about, especially in conjunction with Circle to Search, allowing users to more naturally and intuitively express their needs.

AI-powered Overviews for Multi-search in Lens

Another notable addition is the AI-powered overviews for multi-search in Lens. Users can point their camera at an object, upload a picture, or take a screenshot, and then pose a question about it. Instant insights powered by generative AI are provided, offering a deeper understanding of the subject. Currently launched in the US without requiring Search Labs enrollment, users outside the US can preview this experience in the Google App. However, access to AI-powered overviews in multi-search results within Circle to Search necessitates participation in the SGE experiment.

According to Google, this feature allows users to ask more complex or nuanced questions about what they see, facilitating the quick discovery and comprehension of key information. The company’s goal is to make AI helpful for everyone, and as they experiment with applications of generative AI, they plan to introduce them more broadly into Search.

Search Safety and Privacy at the Core

Google emphasizes that search functionalities are developed with user interests at the center and are equipped with robust data security measures to ensure a trustworthy experience. User data remains on the device until explicitly selected, triggering a Google search. Additionally, the feature allows for the easy removal of the last 15 minutes of search history, providing users with enhanced privacy and control.

When you invoke Circle to Search, everything is happening on the device. So we’re scanning what the user’s looking at, and that remains on the device. It’s only after the user explicitly selects something that we send that to search and execute a Google search. And we have brought very quick and easy features to remove the last 15 minutes of your search history for user privacy.

The recent updates aim to make Google Search more natural and intuitive, with the company indicating that this is just the beginning. To experience the latest capabilities, Google encourages users to enroll in its Search program, available in seven languages across 120 countries, and to opt into the SGE experiment.

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