Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

Google brings Circle to Search experience to iPhone via Lens

In recent months, Google announced the Circle to Search feature, which makes it easier to take screenshots and search for Android. Thanks to Google Lens and iOS Shortcuts, it is also possible to copy this feature on any iPhone.

The internet giant had previously explained that the main difference between Lens and Circle to Search is that the latter is universally accessible by long-pressing the gesture bar or home button on Android. Otherwise, the two features share the same search and OCR (optical character recognition) technology. But Circle to Search uses the ability to circle the items you want to select instead of just tapping them.

Google Lens has long been available on iOS as part of the Google (Search) app. The Google app now offers a shortcut to take a screenshot and send it to Google Lens for analysis. You can enable this “Search your screenshot” shortcut very easily with the Action Button on iPhone 15 Pro.

However, thanks to the Back Tap gesture, this ease of access can be replicated on any other (modern) iPhone. You can double or triple tap the back of your device to launch the shortcut:

  • On your iPhone, go to Settings > Accessibility > Haptics.
  • Scroll down and select Backtap.
  • Select Double Tap or Triple Tap.
  • Scroll down to the Shortcuts area, then select a shortcut.
  • Tap Back to apply the setting.
  • Double-tap or triple-tap the back of your phone to run the shortcut.

Your iPhone will take a screenshot of your current screen and then send it to Google Lens to quickly copy text, translate it, or perform a visual search with the ability to add a text query. Select “Always Allow” to allow image sharing on first run.

Google offers a more optimized experience with Circle to Search

While Circle to Search offers a more optimized user experience, this Google Lens shortcut takes advantage of native iOS features, bringing basic visual search functionality to every iPhone. It can be said that Google made a very smart move.

Danish Kapoor