Google Wants to Improve Its Circle to Search Feature by Eliminating Accidental Touches


Google plans to improve Circle to Search by removing the accidental touch issue encountered with the feature. Circle to Search was launched in January this year with the Samsung Galaxy S24 series as a visual search feature where users can circle an image or a block of text and the feature recognizes what is being highlighted and displays the results from Google Search. However, some users have reportedly complained that the feature activates even when it's not expected. The tech giant is now looking to fix this problem.

In the latest episode of the Made by Google Podcast, which aired Monday, Chief Product Officer Erin Lynch and Director of Product Management Alistair Pott, who worked closely with the team that built Circle to Search, discussed the function in detail. During the conversation, the duo also addressed the issue that several users have complained about the activation of the feature being too touch-sensitive. The feature can be activated by long-pressing the navigation bar or the home button, and some users have reported that despite not trying to activate it, Circle to Search still activates.

Acknowledging the issue, Lynch said: “We still have a long way to go and we're working hard to make sure it turns on when you want it. It doesn't turn on when you don't.” But no timeline was shared for the upgrade. However, this confirms that the team is working on a fix.

Another interesting tidbit shared in the podcast was that Circle to Search uses the capabilities of Google Lens to perform visual search. While this was rumored to be the case, this is the first time the company has officially confirmed it. This integration is also expected to improve in the future. “We're gathering more lenses and searches[..]I'm really excited about merging the search results page with the lens results page. And this will be rolling out over many, many months.” This could unify the search view that users see when they search for something using the feature.

Google Search Circle uses artificial intelligence (AI) to process the information displayed on the screen and then run it through Google Search to display results. It can be used to explain a particular word or phrase, find out the price of a dress, learn more about a famous building, and more.

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