Android 8.0 Oreo brings a slew of improvements and new features to the mobile operating system. But unlike the annoying “running in the background” notification, not all of them are obvious when you first start using it.
One of these is the new picture-in-picture (PiP) feature that allows you to keep video running in a small window while using other apps on your phone.
Unfortunately, this ability is limited to a handful of apps so you should first check which apps on your device support this feature. To do so, head to Settings, then tap the Apps & notifications category. Expand the Advanced entry, then select Special app access followed by Picture-in-picture. This will show you a list of apps on your phone that support PiP.
They’re all enabled by default, but you can turn off apps here if their PiP implementation annoys you. As of this writing, the following apps support this feature:
- Google Duo
- Google Maps
- Google Play Movies & TV
- VLC Media Player
It’s a shame that only two non-Google apps work with PiP so far, and using it with YouTube also requires a subscription to YouTube Red. But as Oreo becomes more widely adopted we should see more apps support it.
There’s no standard way to send an app to PiP mode, but in most cases you just need to press Home when you have a video playing. In Chrome, you must press it when the video is in fullscreen mode. For Google Maps, just press Home when in navigation mode and the new window appears. And other apps like VLC require you to select an option to use PiP.
Once you have a PiP window showing, you can drag it around the screen wherever you like best. Tap on the window, and you’ll see some controls depending on what app you’re viewing. You can play/pause videos, skip to the next video, or maximize the app. When you’re done with the window, just slide it to the bottom of the screen to dismiss it.
Don’t have Oreo yet? If you’re using a Nexus or Pixel device, you can install Android 8.0 right now. Other devices will have to wait a while, but you can mimic Oreo features using some third-party apps.
Do you like picture-in-picture mode, or is it something you won’t use often? What apps do you use it with most often? Tell us down in the comments!
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