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Google Launches New Search Capabilities

Google Launches New Search Capabilities

Sarah Hardacre January 31, 2024
January 31, 2024
Google has introduced two new enhancements to its search capabilities, Circle to Search and an AI-powered multisearch experience.

These new features were first demonstrated at Samsung’s Unpacked event mid-January. Google says the updates further improve search and contribute to its mission to “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Circle to Search will allow users to search for information without needing to switch apps. Whether it’s images, text, or video, users can select content by circling, highlighting, scribbling, or tapping on their screen to prompt a search.

To activate Circle to Search, the user can either long press the home button or the navigation bar while browsing any app. From there, the user can select the content to search. Once finished, the user can swipe the screen to return to what they were doing. Google will keep Shopping ads on these results pages.

Circle to Search will be available globally on select premium Android smartphones with Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, and the new Samsung Galaxy S24 series.

The second new search feature is AI-powered and will allow users to use images to search. Unlike its previous iteration in Google Lens, Google will go beyond visual matches to allow users to ask “more complex or nuanced questions.”

Users will be able to use their camera or upload a photo or screenshot using the Google app to start a dedicated search. Google will provide an overview with supporting links to “quickly find and understand key information.”

Multisearch is part of Search Labs’ Search Generative Experience (SGE), which launched last May. SGE identifies ways that AI can contribute to and improve the search experience.

Currently, multisearch is available for SGE-enrolled users around the world but will roll out to US-based users through the Google app for Android or iOS.

“Our goal is to make AI helpful for everyone, not just early adopters,” Elizabeth Reid, VP of Search, concluded in her blog post. “Today’s updates will make Search even more natural and intuitive, but we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible.“

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