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Google’s Handy Circle to Search Feature Comes to iPhone

TL;DR: Google’s Circle to Search-like feature, Search Your Screenshot, is now available on iPhones. It lets users visually search objects by taking screenshots. The tool works on iPhone 15 Pro and older models supporting Back Tap gestures.

A special group of Pixel and Galaxy phones have the unique Circle to Search tool. By pressing the home button on one of these devices, a screen appears that lets you draw a circle around objects to find them through Google Search. Many have asked if and when Google will bring Circle to Search to more phones.

Surprisingly, a similar feature has just launched on iPhone.

Search Your Screenshot

It’s called Search Your Screenshot and was made by developers who work on the Google Search app for iOS. Minsang Choi, a design manager for Google Lens, says it adds a visual search function to the action button on an iPhone 15 Pro. Pressing the button takes a picture of what’s on the screen and runs a Google Lens scan. After it’s finished, search results appear with images, forum posts, and shopping links to the object it finds.

Choi says, “It’s basically Circle to Search but faster”.

Deleted Post

Choi has since removed his post on X (formerly known as Twitter) where he first shared details about the shortcut. However, we have the images he shared. They show a settings menu of Choi setting up Search Your Screenshot on an iPhone. The second picture shows the shortcut on the action button’s special interface, and the third image shows results for a Teenage Engineering computer case.

See it in Action

To see it working, 9To5Google made a YouTube video showing Search Your Screenshot. Choi says you can try the tool by installing the Google Search app on your iPhone or getting the shortcut from iCloud.

Older iPhones Can Use it Too

Interestingly, 9To5Google found that Search Your Screenshot is not just for the iPhone 15 Pro. It works on older models that support the Back Tap gesture. This means devices as old as the iPhone 8 can run the feature. However, setting it up on an older model takes more effort.

Apple has guides teaching people how to link shortcuts to Back Tap. It involves going into Settings, choosing the gesture you want (a Double Tap or Triple Tap), and then applying Search Your Screenshot. The publication says to select “Always Allow” when you first use the tool to enable Google Lens uploads.

What About Android?

After reading everything, we wondered about other Android phones. This function isn’t available on Google Search for Android, which is odd. Although it may not be exactly like Circle to Search, Search Your Screenshot is still a handy tool.

We asked the tech giant if there are plans to expand it further. We’ll update you if we get a response.


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