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Circle to Search Could Soon Support Split Screen Mode on Pixel Phones: Report

Interestingly, the Circle to Search feature works in split screen mode on the Samsung Galaxy S24 series.

Circle to Search Could Soon Support Split Screen Mode on Pixel Phones: Report

Photo Credit: Google

Circle to Search is reported to soon allow users to copy and share screenshots of a part of a screen

  • Reportedly, the split screen restriction comes from the Pixel launcher
  • Google is said to be working on an update to lift the restriction
  • Circle to Search was launched with the Samsung Galaxy S24 series

Circle to Search reportedly suffers from a unique issue on the Google Pixel smartphones. It appears that the feature does not work when a user has enabled split screen mode that opens two different apps or windows at the same time. A report claims that Google is testing the issue and might soon fix it and allow users to access the feature even while working in split-screen mode. Notably, a recent report highlighted that the tech giant is also working on a feature that will allow users to capture partial screenshots of the selected screen.

According to a report by Android Authority (via Mishaal Rahman), this issue only exists on Pixel phones. The Samsung Galaxy S24 series apparently does show the Circle to Search feature even while on split-screen. The tipster, during his investigation, initially believed the problem emerged from Android's Assist API on top of which the feature is built. However, he found that this was not the case.

circle to search splitscreen Circle to Search

This is how the Circle to Search appears on a Pixel phone's split-screen mode
Photo Credit: Android Authority/Mishaal Rahman


Later, while examining Pixel's Launcher app in the latest Android 15 Beta 1.2, Rahman came across a flag, enabling which gave him access to activate Circle to Search even in split-screen mode. Based on this, the tipster claims that it is likely that Google is working on a fix for the issue that restricted Circle to Search from appearing. While a release date for the fix is not known, it is believed that it could be shipped with the next update for Pixel smartphones.

Google's Circle to Search is a visual lookup tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to process the content displayed on the screen. It then runs it through Google Search to show results. It can be used to explain a particular word or phrase, find out the price of a dress, know more about a famous building, and more. The feature can also be used to copy a block of text displayed on the screen.

The tech giant is also planning to add more functionality to the feature. A report highlights that Google is working on adding partial screenshot capability to the feature. Two new options, Copy and Share, are said to pop up when selecting and highlighting a part of the screen. Reportedly, tapping on Copy takes it to the clipboard, which can then be edited via any photo editor app. Share allows users to directly share it with others through supported third-party apps.

Is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 the best foldable phone you can buy in India right now? We discuss the company's new clamshell-style foldable handset on the latest episode of Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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Akash Dutta
Akash Dutta is a Senior Sub Editor at Gadgets 360. He is particularly interested in the social impact of technological developments and loves reading about emerging fields such as AI, metaverse, and fediverse. In his free time, he can be seen supporting his favourite football club - Chelsea, watching movies and anime, and sharing passionate opinions on food. More
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