Circle to Search will be exclusive to Google and Samsung devices for a long time


With its announcement of the Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24+, and Galaxy S24 Ultra, Samsung also unveiled a myriad of AI features, one of which is Circle to Search. This was created in partnership with Google, and it was in fact also introduced by Google for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro the day after Samsung’s event (and it’s since started rolling out).

If you were expecting Circle to Search to continue its rollout to other Android devices from other brands, it turns out you’re in for a disappointment. According to Samsung itself, Circle to Search will remain exclusive to Google and Samsung devices until at least October.

Circle to Search will be exclusive to Google and Samsung devices for a long time

Here’s the precise wording straight from Samsung’s arm in the Netherlands:

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.

That’s a pretty gigantic bummer and a severe case of unwarranted gatekeeping. We’re wondering if Google and Samsung think people are going to buy an S24 or Pixel 8 specifically for this feature, and if not, then what the point is.

It just feels a tad spiteful for an ecosystem – the Android one – that used to be touted as much more open than Apple’s gated community. Well, the gates are starting to appear in the Android world as well.

It’s not the first time, either – Google and Samsung are similarly gatekeeping the latest version(s) of Wear OS for their wearables specifically. We can’t make any sense of this behavior – after all, it’s likely to anger Google’s other Android device maker partners, but it keeps doing it, so there must be some logic behind it? What do you think?

Source (in Dutch)

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