How to Use Picture-in-Picture Mode in Android

Google introduced a mode to use picture-in-picture mode in the YouTube app many moons ago — maybe even two years ago. The company thought it would be an awesome feature if used anywhere in Android. So Android implemented this process in Oreo.

How to Use Picture-in-Picture Mode in Android
How to Use Picture-in-Picture Mode in Android

YouTube isn’t the only place where it works. Several apps are already supported right out of the box. Find out how.

How to Use this feature

You can see the currently-playing video in a small box on the bottom-right corner of YouTube when you tap the back button to find a different video. With picture-in-picture on Oreo, the small video window can be used anywhere in the OS, rather than being limited to a single app. Essentially, it’s a step up from the split-screen layout on Android.

Consider the situation where you watch NF’s new video for Green Lights, but you also need to check your Google Feed. It’s no problem—just hit the home button while the video is playing. An icon appears in the bottom right corner. You can pick it up and drag it wherever you like on the screen. Users can do two things at once.

To expand or close the video, tap the video to display the controls. In this case, it’s YouTube, and clicking the centre button will bring it up in the app (in this case, YouTube) while tapping the headphones icon will close the preview and play the audio in the background (if you have YouTube Red). As for the rest, they are pretty straightforward.

For now, this new picture-in-picture mode only appears to work in Chrome (all versions), Duo, Play Movies, Maps, and YouTube. The number of apps will increase as Oreo gains popularity, but YouTube and Play Movies are probably two of the best reasons to make it available—maybe Netflix will follow soon.

How to Disable Picture-in-Picture Mode for Specific Apps

As good as the feature is, I can see why some people may not want it, especially in some apps. This feature can be enabled or disabled per app, good news. Okay.

To access the Settings menu, pull down the notification shade and tap the gear icon.

To expand the Advanced menu, tap on Apps & Notifications.

Special App Access is the last option here; tap it to access it.

You can open Picture-in-Picture from the Picture menu.

Here you can see all the apps that support picture-in-picture. By default, all of them are on, so tap it and slide the toggle to the off position if you want to disable one. Easy as pie.

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