Google's Circle to Search tipped to gain a 'listen' feature and more

Google Search widget on homescreen
(Image credit: Roydon Cerejo / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The latest version for the Google app's beta contains signs of several new features on tap for Circle to Search.
  • A "listen" button was discovered, which could let Google read what they've highlighted aloud, alongside a "select all" option for text.
  • The app also showed signs of a "save" button, which would let users take snapshots of whatever they've highlighted and save it in the Google app for later.

Google's beta app displays signs of new features when tapping for its Circle to Search feature on Android.

Discovered by AssembleDebug in conjunction with Android Authority, Circle to Search is preparing to receive "listen" and "select all" buttons. With these found within the app's v15.20.36.29 beta code, there wasn't a way to produce them in real-time. However, there's speculation that Google could take a page from its Lens feature to make them work.

The "listen" button could refer to users' soon gaining the ability to let Google read aloud a selection of highlighted text, like Lens.

The other function, "select all," is rumored to highlight all relevant text visible through your phone's camera or a taken image.

Google's app beta also points toward a "save" button after circling a section of an image to search. The tipster was able to get this to work, and its demo showed that the save option will appear alongside pre-existing functions like select text, copy, and share.

These small screenshots are then saved into the "saved" tab of the main Google app, instead of taking up space on your device in Photos or elsewhere. The tipster states screenshots through Circle to Search will be placed in a new "uploaded images" album.

Google Search bar on the home screen of the Google Pixel 6a

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

It'll likely take a while longer until these features arrive, considering the "listen" and "select all" functions are still deep in development.

Meanwhile, Google rolled out Circle to Search on the Pixel Tablet. Users with Android 14 on the device circle or highlight anything on their device to quickly run a query through Search. While the company has remained somewhat consistent in bringing the feature to other Pixels, the feature doesn't work for the tablet's split-screen mode.

Google stated it is looking into implementing support for split-screen mode "in a future update." Such support is already being tested for Pixel phones as of the Android 15 Beta 1.2 update.

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.