Circle to Search may not be available beyond S24 and Pixel 8 for a long time — here's why

An image showing the Samsung Galaxy S24 with the Circle to Search feature being used on screen
(Image credit: Future)

When Samsung announced the new Galaxy S24 series it also announced several new AI features for the device. One of the more interesting was the Circle to Search feature, which piqued the interest of many Android users wanting to see it on their own devices. Sadly, those people will need to wait as it seems the feature might not be released on other devices for a while. 

Circle to Search was presented with the Galaxy S24 in January but has also come to the Pixel 8 in a recent January feature drop. The feature allows users to search for an element on their screen by simply drawing a circle around it. Currently, the Galaxy S24 series and the Pixel 8 series are the only phones that have access to the feature. According to a recent article on 9to5 Google that might change soon, but Samsung has moved the goalposts to keep us all guessing.

In a press release published in the Netherlands over the weekend, Samsung's Gerben van Walt Meijer said, “The fact that Google only makes this innovative technology available for its own devices and those of Samsung speaks volumes about the good relationship and trust between both companies.” 

However, a more concrete statement originally made in the press release hinted at the future of Circle to Search — but has since been removed.

Google Pixel 8 shown held in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The statement in question said: “Circle to Search will be available on the Google Pixel 8 series and Samsung Galaxy S24 series from January 2024. Circle to Search may become available on Android devices from other brands from October 5, 2024, but no active developments are underway for this."

This would indicate that other devices will see the Circle to Search feature at some point in the future. However, as previously stated, this quote has since been edited out of the press release. Tom's Guide was able to verify that it had existed through the Wayback Machine.

Samsung press release prior to editing suggesting Circle to Search may come to other Android handsets

The Samsung press release issued in the Netherlands (obtained via the Wayback Machine) with included statement that Circle to Search may become available for other brands besides Google and Samsung. (Image credit: Samsung via Wayback Machine)

This could mean that Samsung and Google are aiming to either bring the feature out sooner. Or, just as likely, they may not be bringing it to other Android features any time soon. 

While it would be great to see Circle to Search appear on other Android phones, it seems the information about that happening is currently slightly convoluted.  As it stands we can only wait and see if Google or Samsung make any more mentions regarding the feature before the end of the year.

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Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.