Google is bringing a split-screen to Circle to Search on Pixel devices

Google Pixel 8 Pro held in hand.
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

There has been a lot happening around AI in the tech space recently. Perhaps one of the most popular AI-based features is Circle to Search. It first came to the Galaxy S24 series of phones and has since launched on Google's beloved Pixel line of devices. And while it's definitely a popular feature, it's not without flaws. 

One flaw, though, is going to be fixed. According to a report from Android Authority, which was found by digging through the Pixel Launcher app bundled with the recently released Android 15 Beta 1.2 update, Google is working on bringing split-screen support to Circle to Search. Tucked in the release is a flag that lets users take advantage of the feature while in split-screen mode, making it far more helpful. 

On Samsung Galaxy phones that support the advanced AI feature, the Circle to Search in split-screen restriction doesn't seem to be an issue, so this update only addresses Pixel phones. It seems weird that Google would build a restriction like not being able to use Circle to Search on its own devices on purpose, so it could be a bug that creeped its way in somewhere during development.

Either way, this has been a gripe for Pixel owners who want to use more than one app while still having a quick way to search for something on their phones. When Android 15 comes out (which is expected to happen in the first quarter of 2024) all users will be able to take advantage of Circle to Search in the phone's split screen mode

In the meantime, if you can't wait to start using it and everything else that comes with Android 15, you can download the operating system's beta. Just be aware of the issues that can come with downloading beta software to your device.

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Dave LeClair
Senior News Editor

Dave LeClair is the Senior News Editor for Tom's Guide, keeping his finger on the pulse of all things technology. He loves taking the complicated happenings in the tech world and explaining why they matter. Whether Apple is announcing the next big thing in the mobile space or a small startup advancing generative AI, Dave will apply his experience to help you figure out what's happening and why it's relevant to your life.