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How to Get Google Circle to Search on iPhone

by Mrinal Saha
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Circle to search is an advanced version of Google Lens, i.e. you select something on your phone screen (text, images, etc.) and immediately get relevant Google results.

For example, you can highlight a sneaker someone is wearing in a YouTube video, and find out the brand and where you can buy it.

Currently, it’s only available in the Samsung Flagship Galaxy S series, Flip/Fold series, and Google Pixel series. It is set to arrive for all Android phones with the next Android 15 update. Fortunately, iPhone users can get a similar experience right, but it requires a workaround.

Here’s How It Works

Simply say, “Hey Siri, search this” or double-tap at the back of your iPhone.

That double-tap shortcut will trigger a Siri Shortcut to take a screenshot and then use the Google app’s built-in ‘Search Image with Lens’ feature.

It might not be as seamless as the Android version, but it still provides a way for iPhone users to quickly search based on what they’re seeing on their screen. Here’s an example of it in the action.

cirle to search on iphone

Want to check it out yourself on your iPhone? Follow the steps:

1. Install the Google app (if you don’t have it already) on your iPhone.

Download: Google app

2. Open the Shortcuts app (two layered squares) and create a New Shortcut by tapping the + Plus button in the top-right corner. If you’re using it for the first time, you’ll need to give the Shortcut app the necessary permissions.

3. Tap Add Action. Search for and tap Take Screenshot.

4. Tap the search bar at the bottom to add another Action. Search for and tap Search Image with Lens option.

5. Tap the down arrow button in the top-right corner of the screen. Name your shortcut Search this (for example). Tap Done to save your Shortcut.

After that, whenever you say “Hey Siri, Search this”, this new iOS Shortcut will automatically search for what’s on the screen.

Download: Google Circle to Search Shortcut

Tap the Back of Your iPhone to Run Shortcuts

Using Siri commands in public places like the metro and offices may be weird for some people. In that case, you can double-tap the back of your iPhone (near the Apple logo) to trigger this shortcut.

1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone, and to Settings > Accessibility > Touch.

2. Scroll down and tap Back Tap and choose Double Tap

3. Scroll to the Shortcuts section and pick the Search this.

4. Tap Back Tap to save the setting.

Those were the two novel ways to use Google’s new ‘Circle to Search’ with Google Lens on your iPhone. We prefer the double-tap shortcut since it involves using only one hand. What about you?

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