Microsoft Edge on iOS is secretly working on some new features: “Circle to Copilot” and “Chat with image using Copilot”. A recent server-side update also turned on “Notebook” in Copilot for Edge on iOS, which increases the character limit to 18,000. And the next major change is deeper Copilot integration.

Microsoft has been working on a “Circle to Copilot” feature for a while now. It was recently spotted in Microsoft Edge Canary for Windows 11, and now it’s also in the works on mobile devices. I have not spotted the feature on Android yet, but if you have an iPhone or iPad, you can now try an early version of “Circle to Copilot”

What is Circle to Copilot, and how well does it work on iOS? Circle to Copilot is an upcoming Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS feature that lets you quickly perform AI-based searches. When the feature is turned on, you can just scribble on the screen to draw a circle, and any content in focus will be uploaded to Copilot.

I was able to try the feature in Edge for iOS (stable), which can be activated by holding the Copilot button in the toolbar. However, hold to activate “Circle to Copilot” works only when you’ve manually turned on an experimental flag:

  1. In Edge for iOS, open edge://flags and search “Circle for Copilot”.
    Copilot image circle search
  2. Enable the feature and relaunch the browser (you’ll need to close and open it again).

I find the feature similar to Google’s Circle to Search, but it uses Copilot instead, and there are some rough edges because it’s in the early stage of development.

To use the feature, you just need to tap and hold the Copilot button in Edge.

Circle to Copilot in Edge for iOS
Circle to Copilot in Edge for iOS | Image Courtesy:

This will capture the current screen and open a new “Circle” page, where you can circle any specific region of the captured screen to perform a search.

In my tests, I tried to circle a specific phrase on the captured screen, which was uploaded to Copilot’s mini-window as an image. Unfortunately, my initial attempt was unsuccessful. However, I tried again, and Copilot quickly searched the uploaded image.

Circle to Copilot isn’t capable of directly extracting texts from the captured screen, but when the captured screen is uploaded as a screenshot, Copilot can explain the image and its content, including the text. Windows Latest understands that you’ll be able to directly search the texts in a future release.

There’s another feature called “Chat with image”, which could be related to the “Circle to Copilot”.

When you’ve access to this experimental feature, you can click the “camera” icon in the Copilot window and perform three different types of searches: Ask Copilot to explain the image, search the image on Bing for similar images (reverse search), and scan the QR/barcode directly using Copilot.

Here’s a quick demo of the feature, which can be slow even with a Copilot Pro subscription:

According to sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans, users will be able to search texts, images, and the screen directly using “Circle to Copilot.”

Microsoft is still working on the idea, and we expect more details in the coming months.

About The Author

Mayank Parmar

Mayank Parmar is an entrepreneur who founded Windows Latest. He is the Editor-in-Chief and has written on various topics in his seven years of career, but he is mostly known for his well-researched work on Microsoft's Windows. His articles and research works have been referred to by CNN, Business Insiders, Forbes, Fortune, CBS Interactive, Microsoft and many others over the years.