Android TV's PIP Might Be Enabled On Other Android N Platforms

The latest version of Android, Android N will bring with it a number of notably improvements once it leaves its 'developer preview' status and begins rolling out to devices. One of those in particular is one that many Android users have been waiting on for a long time. Multi-windows. The ability to make use of more than one window at the same time and in a split-screen mode. Of course, if you own certain Android handsets, like a Samsung Galaxy Note device for instance, then you have a version of multi-windows already. However, what Android N is looking to do is bring multi-windows functionality to Android as a core feature and one that any Android smartphone owner can make use of, regardless of manufacturer.

When it comes to Android TV, this platform also has a similar feature dubbed Picture-in-Picture (PIP), allowing the ability to navigate one screen while maintaining a window-view of another screen (or app) at the same time. Essentially, the ability to multitask. However, while Picture-in-Picture does offer a similar feature to multi-windows, it is not the same feature and while Android smartphones will be getting their multitasking ability, they do not have the ability to make use of Picture-in-Picture as a dedicated feature. Although, that could change in the future.

Members of the Android team were taking part in a fireside chat at Google I/O 2016 and this was specifically one of the questions which was put to them. In answering, Olawale Ogunwale, a Software Engineer for the Android Framework Team at Google, did note that there is nothing stopping them from implementing the feature in a future version of Android, as it is a feature which is not restricted to Android TV. In fact, Ogunwale went as far as to say that there is the possibility that the feature will be enabled for other platforms with Android N. Whether this could be as part of one of the future developer previews or in the final version remains to be seen, but one thing that is clear is that Picture-in-Picture is at the very least being considered as a feature to be included for Android, other than android TV.

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John Anon

Editor-in-Chief
John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]