The Pixel 8 is getting Google’s new AI search feature today

An illustration showing how Google’s Circle to Search feature works, with a finger circling a pair of glasses, and a search bar superimposed over the image.

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Google is rolling out its “Circle to Search” feature to Pixel 8 phones today, bringing new ideas about how to gather information on the internet using AI. The feature, which is also available on Samsung Galaxy S24 phones, builds on Google’s multisearch tool that lets you combine image searches with words in the Google app. Now you can simply circle, scribble, or highlight things in other apps and learn more about them in place.

The big change here is leveraging generative AI for on-the-fly searches within other apps in Android. Instead of taking an image or screenshot over to the Google app, you can long-press on the home button or the navigation bar from wherever you are to initiate the search, then highlight whatever you want to know more about and modify the search using a text prompt. A card will show you more info, and then you can swipe it away when you’re done.

By way of example, Google mentions that if you see a bunch of social media posts about corn dogs and you’re feeling out of the loop, you can use Circle to Search to grab the corn dog and ask in the text prompt why they’re so popular right now. Or as our own Allison Johnson said before, you could figure out those Stanley cups.

Other examples the search giant proposes include looking for info about a building you see in a YouTube video by scribbling over it and adding it to your travel plans or, while in a text thread, highlighting a restaurant suggestion from a friend and checking out things like its menu or customer reviews. The feature had already started rolling out to some Pixel 8 phones prior to Google’s announcement, including those of some Verge staffers, so you may have already been able to use it today.

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