Samsung Galaxy S24's best feature could soon get a big usability upgrade

A photo of the Samsung Galaxy S24 in hand with the Circle to Search feature in use. The circle is half drawn.
(Image credit: Future)

Circle to Search, Google's handy instant search feature found on the Samsung Galaxy S24 and Google Pixel 8, may soon get some quality-of-life upgrades based on comments made in a recent Made by Google Podcast episode (via 9to5Google).

In the episode, host Rachid Finge spoke with Erin Lynch and Alistair Pott, who worked with the Circle to Search development team. Lynch acknowledged during the podcast how Circle to Search was easy to activate accidentally, since it's located on the same gesture bar or home button you use for other purposes multiple times a day. While she and Pott didn't explain how, they promised that Google was working to fix this, so users will only start up Circle to Search when they mean to do so.

Additional features could be on the way

Circle to Search has already received an update post-launch to allow it to translate circled text. And Lynch and Pott suggested more could be coming.

One possible upgrade would be a combined Search and Lens results page when using Circle to Search, rather than having them separate as they are now. This could be months away though, the podcast guests warned, and of course that's assuming it comes at all.

An image of a Pixel being held in a person's hand with the Circle to Search feature being used on the screen to search for a mausoleum.

(Image credit: Future)

The podcast also contains some interesting details about how Circle to Search came to be. It turns out a lot of it is based on Google Lens, according to Pott, and that the feature had only been in development since January 2023 after Google staffers were working on ways to make Lens more readily available outside its own app.

Google I/O is coming up in May, and if Google's got new Circle to Search upgrades to announce any time soon, there's a good chance they'll happen there. We're also hoping to learn lots more about Android 15

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.