Circle to Search reportedly suffers from a problem unique to Google Pixel smartphones. The feature doesn’t seem to work when a user has enabled split-screen mode, which opens two different apps or windows at the same time. A report claims that Google is testing the issue and may soon fix it and allow users to access the feature even when 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 from Android Authority (via Mishaal Rahman), this issue only exists on Pixel phones. The Samsung Galaxy S24 series apparently displays the Circle to Search feature even when on split screen. During its investigation, the advisor initially believed the issue stemmed from Android’s Assist API, on which the feature was built. However, he found that this was not the case.

Here’s how the search circle appears in split-screen mode on a Pixel phone
Photo: Android Authority/Mishaal Rahman

Later, while browsing the Pixel’s Launcher app in the latest Android 15 Beta 1.2 build, Rahman came across a flag that gave him access to enable Circle to Search even in split-screen mode. Based on this, the advisor claims that it is likely that Google is working on a fix for the issue that was limiting the display of Circle to Search. While the release date of the patch is not known, it is believed that it could be delivered with the next update for Pixel smartphones.

Google’s Circle to Search is a visual search tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to process the content displayed on the screen. It then runs it through Google Search to display results. It can be used to explain a certain word or phrase, find out the price of a dress, learn more about a famous building, etc. The function can also be used to copy a block of text displayed on the screen.

The tech giant also plans to add more functionality to the feature. A report highlights that Google is working on adding a partial screenshot capability to the feature. Two new options, Copy and Share, are said to pop up when you select and highlight a part of the screen. Tapping Copy reportedly takes it to the clipboard, which can then be edited using any photo editor app. Sharing allows users to directly share it with others through supported third-party applications.

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