Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Samsung's Circle to Search Isn't New. It's Just Another Way to Use Google

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Samsung unveiled a handful of new products and features at Samsung Unpacked event on Wednesday, including the new Galaxy Ring and Galaxy Buds. But the company also touted a feature called Circle to Search, which Samsung said could help you search for something from an image or video, or translate a printed language while you’re traveling. 

However, Circle to Search isn’t new. Google announced it in January before showing it off at it’s Google I/O presentation in May. But Circle to Search on Samsung devices is a new way to interact with Google Search at a time when more people expect AI chatbots to outperform search engines — and it’s likely to boost Google’s revenue.

More from Samsung Unpacked

According to Aberdeen Strategy and Research, about 64% of people surveyed said they believe AI chatbots, like ChatGPT, can find information faster than a traditional search engine, like Google Search. Google did experiment with AI in the form of its AI Overviews. But it got things wrong, and Google has since scaled the feature back.

With Circle to Search, you don’t have a say in how you search, only what you search. The images, videos and translations you use with the feature all run through Google. Circle to Search is a way to keep Samsung users interacting with Google Search, and with each search, the tech giant can collect more data on you.

According to security.org, Google collects and stores your personal information, including things like your name and IP address. Google notes on its site that it does so to make its products more helpful to you, and one of the ways it does that is by showing “more useful ads based on your interests.” The company said it doesn’t sell user data, but it does share reports with advertisers on how well their ads performed. 

Circle to Search will also serve you more ads. During Samsung Unpacked, we saw a person use Circle to Search on a pair of sunglasses to show similar sunglasses for sale and where to buy them. In May, Google announced that ads would start appearing in Circle to Search results. So that person searching for a particular pair of sunglasses likely saw ads about other sunglasses mixed in with their search results.

While Samsung showed Circle to Search as a more intuitive way to interact with your world, at it’s core, it’s likely another way for Google to turn a profit.

For more on Samsung Unpacked, here’s everything announced at the event and what to know about the Galaxy Ring and Galaxy Buds.

Watch this: Everything Announced at Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024

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