The Chrome Android app received support for Android O's picture-in-picture mode, with Google rolling out the feature several days ago, some users running the latest developer preview of the company's operating system have discovered. The Mountain View, California-based tech giant seemingly introduced the new functionality through a server-side switch, though it's currently unclear which build versions of the popular mobile browser are affected by the change. The latest Chrome Dev version is certainly among those that support the new system, indicating that Google is still experimenting with the functionality and may change its exact workings by the time it hits the stable channel of Chrome for Android.
Chrome is the latest Android app to receive support for the picture-in-picture mode of Android O, with the likes of Google Play Movies, Duo, and VLC already being updated with the same functionality in recent weeks. The mode itself is identical to the one introduced on Android TV devices with Android 7.0 Nougat, allowing users to run any app within a small window of customizable dimensions while simultaneously doing something else. With the feature now set to arrive to compatible smartphones and tablets, Android's multitasking experience should become smoother than ever, or at least that's what Google's hoping for. Chrome's support for the picture-in-picture mode is seemingly only live for users running the third developer preview of the upcoming operating system and will also presumably work with the fourth, nearly final iteration of Android O's system images that Google promised to release in early July.
Users interested in trying out the new feature for themselves are able to activate the picture-in-picture mode in Chrome by opening any video in the browser and double-tapping the Recents button while in the full-screen view. The functionality still doesn't work with radio stations but may be expanded upon in the future. Android O is set to be commercialized by mid-August and will become available for the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, and compatible Nexus devices before making its way to more smartphones and tablets in fall. An update on the upcoming iteration of the omnipresent operating system should follow in the coming weeks.