Google says trigger-happy “Circle to Search” will be improved and Search and Lens results merged

Google says trigger-happy “Circle to Search” will be improved and Search and Lens results merged

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Google aims to streamline the way we search for information. We all know the handy Google search bar, the Assistant button, and now we have “Circle to Search.” It’s a great idea in theory, but like any new feature, it can be under-utilized and definitely has some kinks to work out โ€“ namely, it triggers a little too easily. Fortunately, Google is aware of the issue and promises improvements.Let’s rewind a bit. Circle to Search launched with the Samsung Galaxy S24, and it leverages some of Google Lens’s visual search magic. The premise is simple: long-press your navigation bar or home button, circle what you want to know more about, and watch your search results appear.

The main problem with the feature right now is that it is too easy to accidentally launch it when you’re navigating your phone using the familiar navigation bar gestures. While that bar is pretty wide, sometimes what you’re actually trying to do is go to the home page, not initiate a search. Google knows this, and in the recent “Made by Google” podcast, Erin Lynch and Alistair Pott โ€” who worked closely with the team that made “Circle to Search” โ€” admitted there are improvements to be made (thanks to 9to5Google for the tip).

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It works, but not without hiccups

Google says Circle to Search depends on Google Lens for the tough stuff like image searches and text recognition. Their ultimate goal is to make the feature less prone to accidental triggers so that it only launches when you really want it to. To that, Erin Lynch added:

Big plans are in the works, even though changes might take a while. Google wants to add features like real-time translation and merge Lens and Search results for a super-powered tool. Lynch and Pott both expressed their hopes that the development process leads to a seamless user experience. The team behind Circle to Search has clearly worked hard on accuracy, especially for text copying, which seems to be a popular use for the tool internally, and they hope that will catch on with the users as well.

With fixes coming and even more possibilities in the works, Circle to Search looks like it’s a feature Google plans to stick with. It has the potential to change how we interact with information on our screens, but in its current form, it is not as popular as Google wants it to be. Now that it’s spreading to more devices, we’ll have to see how Google grows its capabilities.

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