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Google's Circle to Search Is Now on the iPhone. Well, Kinda

Google's Circle to Search Is Now on the iPhone. Well, Kinda

Google continued its march into AI earlier this year, releasing Circle to search for the Pixel 8 And Galaxy S24 series. Circle to search works exactly as you'd expect — using your finger, you can circle, highlight or tap anything on your Android display and then search for it on Google.

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For example, you can highlight a purse in a photo on Instagram, and find out the brand of the purse and where you can buy it, all in seconds.

Unfortunately for iPhone Exclusive to users, feature. Android — but there is a solution. There is a way to bring a feature like Circle to Search to iOS, but it's not what you think.

As long as you have the Google app, you can create an iOS shortcut that takes a screenshot of your display and then triggers the app to use Google Lens's visual search feature to find what's in the screenshot. Anything can be searched, like the circle-to-search method. Works It's obviously a work in progress, but if you want to use something similar to Circle to search on your iPhone, that's really the only way to do it right now.

We'll explain how to use Circle to search on your iPhone below. For more, check out Everything you need to know about Circle Two Search. And 15 years of Android vs iPhone.

How to use the Circle to Search alternative on your iPhone

May 7 Google Lens Design Manager Minsang Choi Google Apps posted about a shortcut created by the iOS team that allows you to activate The visual search feature of Google Lens with the Action button On iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. There was a post. Soon deleted, and while you can't download the shortcuts Choi posted about, you can make your own. And best of all, you can use the shortcut on older iPhone models that don't have an Action button.

To get started, download The Google app on your iPhoneif you don't already have it.

Next, you'll need to create a shortcut that first takes a screenshot of your iPhone and then runs Google Lens' visual search feature. you will use Shortcut app For that, which is already downloaded on your iPhone. It's a very simple process:

  1. Open the Shortcuts app.
  2. kill + button at the top right.
  3. tap Add an action..
  4. Find and tap. Take a screenshot.
  5. Press the search bar below.
  6. Find and tap. Find the image with the lens..
  7. hit done.

Creating Circles to Find Shortcuts on iOS Creating Circles to Find Shortcuts on iOS

You can name the shortcut anything, but the default name is Find the image with the lens..

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Finally, you'll need a way to quickly trigger the shortcut. We'll cover two methods for running shortcuts: action buttons and back tap.

The Action button is only available on the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, but if you have either of those devices, it's a better way to execute the shortcut. In Settings, go to Action button > Select a shortcut. and select Find the image with the lens. Shortcut and you're done. Now you can use the action button to run the shortcut.

Setting Shortcuts with Action Buttons Setting Shortcuts with Action Buttons

Scroll through the different action button options until you find the shortcut.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

If you don't have an iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, you can use the Back Tap Accessibility feature to trigger a shortcut by tapping on the back of your iPhone. In Settings, go to access > touch > Back tap > Double/triple tap. and select Find the image with the lens. Shortcuts You can now tap on the back of your iPhone to run shortcuts.

Using Shortcuts with BackTap Using Shortcuts with BackTap

You can use double tap or triple tap.

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Note: You can also use Siri to run shortcuts. Just say “Run search image with Lens shortcut”.

When you run Search Image with Lens, Shortcut will take a screenshot of whatever is on your iPhone, send it to the Google app, and use Visual Search to provide you with Google search results. Whatever is basically in the screenshot. You can move the cursor box around the item you want to search for, if the wrong item or person was initially selected.

Using Circle to Find Shortcuts on iOS Using Circle to Find Shortcuts on iOS

This is a shortcut, finding the sweater brand in the screenshot and the options to buy it on Google.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Obviously it's not as seamless as Circle to Search on Android, but using a similar feature on iPhone is a chore. Plus, it's much faster than taking a screenshot, going into the Google app, uploading the image, and then running it through Google's visual search feature.

For more, here's how to promote yourself. iPhone battery life And Which apps are draining your iPhone battery?.

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