Circle to Search might gain audio lookup for sounds on your device

Circle to Search on the Pixel 8a
(Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • An APK dive into the Google app's latest beta shows the company's early development of an audio lookup feature.
  • Concrete details are scarce, however, speculation suggests the function could let Circle to Search run an audio query based on sounds from your device.
  • Circle to Search was previously tipped to pick up new features for "copying" and sharing highlighted snapshots alongside split-screen support.

A recent discovery shows that Google could implement a way for its Circle to Search to handle audio queries.

An APK dive conducted by AssembleDebug in conjunction with Android Authority shows evidence of a new audio option. The tipster discovered the feature in beta version of the Google app on Android.

When activating Circle to Search, the feature displays a new music note icon between the manual search box and the Google Translate icon.

Details about the feature's functionality are scarce as the tipster couldn't get it to function properly. However, speculation suggests the note's icon could let Circle to Search listen in on what your device is playing and that as a query. This could be useful as another way of discovering music heard through a social media app or anywhere else on your Android phone.

What's also unclear is if users can let Circle to Search listen in on a segment of audio and attach extra written context in the bar. This is already a possibility as the feature captures what's been circled with the option of adding a bit of text to help refine Google's search.

The tipster needed to manually surface the note's UI button, however, with so little information it's likely Google's still in early development.

Evidence of a potential audio lookup feature for Google's Circle to Search.

(Image credit: AssembleDebug / X)

There's more in development for Google's Circle to Search as a previous APK dive showed updates for sharing and editing. Regarding the former, the app's code showed the feature may let users circle a section but opt to share that highlighted portion with others through the sub-menu instead of running a query.

The latter "copy" what they've circled and throw it into their device's photo editor to spruce it up, add annotations, or share through Messages and more.

Another discovery during Android 15 beta showed that Google plans to bring split-screen support to it for Pixel phones. This would allow Pixel owners to use two apps at once and leverage Circle to Search's assistance for quick queries without having to swap around.

Moreover, it seems as though the lack of support was more of an internal development bug as supported Samsung phones don't have a problem.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.