How to Use Google Circle to Search an Image on iPhone?

Discover how to use the Circle to Search feature on supported Android devices and create a shortcut on iPhone to search images using Google Lens.

Circle to Search is a new feature from Google currently available on selected premium models of Samsung phones. It is an advanced form of searching the elements in an image using Google Lens. If you see a person wearing a wristwatch in a photo and want to know about the timepiece, highlight the watch using the circle to search and fetch its details using Google search.

While other Android devices are yet to support Cirlce to Search, iPhone users can experience this feature. Capture the screenshot of an image on your iPhone and summon Siri to use an iOS shortcut to search the image using Google Lens. This guide explains the steps to create and deploy this shortcut to use Google Circle to Search on an iPhone.

Create a Shortcut on iPhone to Search Images using Google Lens

First, create the shortcut to search the details in an image (screenshot) when you Summon Siri.

  1. Launch the Shortcuts app on the iPhone.
  2. Tap the + button at the top right corner to design a new shortcut.
  3. Press Add Action.
    create shortcut to search image using google Lens
  4. Select Take Screenshot.
  5. Tap the Search field on the screen and type Search Image with Lens.
  6. Once the Search Image with Lens appears in the search result, tap on it.
    Search Image with Lens shortcut iOS
  7. At the top of the screen, tap the downward arrow icon and select rename from the menu.
  8. Change the name of the action to Search the Image.
  9. After setting the Shortcut name, press Done to save the shortcut.
    rename iOS Shortcut to search image

Now, the actions are twofold. Capture a screenshot. Follow that by summoning the iOS virtual assistant by saying “Hey Siri, Search the Image“. You can see the voice command uses the shortcut name we created earlier.

Use Shortcut to Search Images without Asking Siri

When you are in a public place, it may be awkward to summon Siri by saying ‘Hey Siri’. It can disturb others around you.

You can use the shortcut by tapping the back of your iPhone to search for the thing you see in an image.

For that, you have to designate the back-tapping gesture to execute the Shortcut we created earlier.

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Go to Accessibility > Touch.
    iOS 17 touch settings
  3. Choose Back Tap.
  4. Access Double Tap to allocate an action to the gesture.
  5. Within the list of Shortcuts select Search This Image [The shortcut we created previously]
    use backtap on iPhone to search image using Google Lens

Now, whenever you see an image and want to know more about it, double-tap behind your iPhone. Let the shortcut do the work and fetch the image details or images related to it through Google Search.

How to Use Circle to Search on Supported Android Devices?

Follow these steps to know the details of an image in case you don’t have an iPhone but an Android device that supports the feature.

Enable Circle to Search on Android

To use Circle to Search, enable it within the Android settings.

  1. Access the Android Settings.
  2. Use the search function to look for Circle to Search.
  3. Enable the toggle to turn it on.

You may also turn off the feature using the same steps as above.

If you cannot find the feature within your Android phone settings, the device doesn’t support Cirlce to Search as of now.

Make sure that you are using the latest version of the Google app. You can install it here or update it from the Play Store.

  1. Capture the screenshot.
  2. If your Android has a 3-button navigation type, long press the home button to trigger the Circle to Search.
    3 button navigation system Android
  3. If the Android device has gesture navigation, long press the navigation bar to start Circle to Search.
    gesture navigation system Android
  4. Use your fingers to zoom out or zoom in while highlighting the part of an image using the Circle to search feature.
    how to use Google Circle to Search on Android devices
  5. Google will fetch details of the highlighted segment and show you the search results.

NOTE: Along with the image, you can also highlight text using the Circle to Search.

Bottom Line

Circle to Search allows you to highlight a part of an image/video such as a building, or text, and get details on them from Google Search. You don’t have to manually type the search query on Google. It is a great feature from Google to make the search process simpler on phones. We hope it to roll into a wider range of Android devices in the coming days.

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Swayam Prakash
Swayam is a professional content creator with 6-years of experience in conceptualizing, creating, and managing tech-based content for notable online publishing firms. At DigitBin, he creates quality-rich and simple content related to Windows OS, Android, iOS, social media, cloud computing, and other general consumer technology. Contact Me on Linkedin

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