What you need to know

  • Samsung suggests that Circle to Search will be available on other Android phones starting October.
  • Like most Google features, Circle to Search will eventually reach other Android devices, although for the majority of the year, it remains restricted to Galaxy and Pixel phones.
  • Delayed release until September could be a strategic move to build hype and exclusivity for upcoming Google and Samsung launches, including the rumored Pixel 8a and Galaxy Z Fold 6 / Z Flip 6.

Samsung has revealed that Circle to Search will be exclusive to Google and Samsung phones for the majority of the year.

Samsung had quite the brag fest in a press release about the Galaxy S24 series smashing sales records in the Netherlands. The company also dropped a bomb: Circle to Search is ditching exclusivity and coming to other Android phones by October this year.

“The Galaxy S24 not only opens the door to the future of communications, but is also one of the first phones to feature Circle to Search with Google,” Samsung Netherlands stated. “And that makes the S24 unique, as this functionality will only be available on Samsung and Google devices until September of this year.”

Google introduced the feature and other AI tricks on the same day Samsung announced the Galaxy S24 series. Owners of Samsung’s latest flagship series and the Google Pixel 8 lineup can search without bouncing out of their apps. Think of it as the next-gen Google Lens move.

However, instead of the old-school Google image search routine, where you scour for similar pictures or information about an image, now you just give your phone a little circle gesture on the screen. Hold down the bottom navigation bar, and Circle to Search does the rest.

Like most cool features from Google, this feature is bound to spread to other Android devices eventually. But for the better part of the year, it’s sticking exclusively to Galaxy and Pixel phones.

Holding back on other devices until September might be a strategic move to amp up the exclusivity factor for upcoming Google and Samsung launches—think the rumored Pixel 8a and the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6. Samsung won’t likely drop its next foldables without that feature, and 9to5Google speculates as much for the Pixel 8a.

The awesomeness of Circle to Search lies in its speed and convenience, but it’s a bummer that it might drag its feet before hitting other devices.