Google’s ‘Circle to Search’ Feature Will Stay Limited to Samsung and Pixel Until the End of 2024

Samsung recently introduced the Galaxy S24 series, including the Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24+, and Galaxy S24 Ultra, showcasing a range of new AI capabilities. Among these innovations is the “Circle to Search” feature, developed through a collaboration with Google. Google launched this feature for its Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro devices just a day following Samsung’s announcement, and it has already begun deployment.

For those anticipating the expansion of “Circle to Search” to Android devices from other manufacturers, Samsung has shared news that might be somewhat disheartening. The company has confirmed that this feature will be exclusive to Samsung and Google devices until at least October, curtailing expectations for its broader availability in the near term.

Here is what Samsung has said about the feature’s availability:

Circle to Search may become available on Android devices from other brands from 5 October 2024, but there are no active developments underway for this.

The decision to limit the “Circle to Search” feature exclusively to Samsung and Google devices has been met with considerable disappointment, highlighting a significant instance of unnecessary restriction. This move raises questions about the strategic thinking behind it—whether Google and Samsung are banking on this feature alone to drive sales of the S24 and Pixel 8. If that’s not the case, then the rationale behind such exclusivity remains unclear.

This approach marks a stark departure from the traditionally open nature of the Android ecosystem, which was often celebrated for its accessibility compared to Apple’s more closed system. Now, it seems the Android community is witnessing the emergence of its own barriers, signaling a shift towards a more restricted environment.

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