While Android 11 OS is yet to arrive on multiple Android phones, Google has released the Android 12 Developer Preview 1. Apart from a bunch of new features, Android 12 brings much-needed improvements to the picture-in-picture functionality.
Android OS is a mature operating system. Over the years, it has gained all the necessary features, leaving little room for new additions. However, there is always scope for improvements, and with Android 12, Google is doing just that.
Picture-in-picture is still one of the biggest additions to Android. If you are not familiar, it allows you to keep watching videos on a floating window. The video can be from a browser or supported apps, while you keep on using other applications.
Though picture-in-picture is a feature available since Android 8.0 Oreo, it has received no improvements or new features since then. Thankfully, that changes with the Android 12 OS.
According to a report by XDA, the picture-in-picture feature in Android 12 gets two new features. The first feature allows you to pinch-to-resize, which basically lets you resize the floating window size using two fingers.
The second feature is called Stashing. This feature lets you hide the floating window away without completely closing it. Apparently, you are stashing the video window to the side.
Both picture-in-picture features introduced in Android 12 are not enabled by default
The important thing to note here is that, in the Android 12 Developer Preview 1, the latest features introduced for the picture-in-picture mode are not enabled by default.
Which makes sense, because neither of the features is polished. Moreover, they are a bit rough to be used right now. But is a good sign that Google has actually invested some time in improving and adding new features for this picture-in-picture mode.
In fact, there are several scenarios where the two additional features would make sense. For instance, while studying online, you can pinch and zoom in on a video to see something more closely.
Or else, you can stash the video on one side if you only wish to hear the audio from the video, and the floating window is bothering you on your home screen.
As noted by XDA, the new picture-in-picture features are a bit janky, to say the least. Meaning that although they do the work, they are intended to but are not as smooth as one would want it to.
That’s expected as it is just an early version introduced with the first Developer Preview of Android 12. Once, Android 12 starts maturing over the course of the next months, we would definitely see more improvements.
As I previously reported, Google is testing pinch-to-resize and stashing for picture-in-picture windows. I got it working once – but working on getting it on video. One sec.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) February 18, 2021