Picture-in-picture (PiP) mode is a feature offered by numerous television receivers and devices. In this mode, one program (or channel) is displayed on the full TV screen and at the same time, one or more than one programs are displayed in the inset windows. But the sound that you will on screen is usually from the mail program.
Now let’s understand how the picture-in-picture mechanism actually works. Picture-in-picture requires two independent tuners (or signal sources) for its functioning to supply both (the large and the small) pictures. Two-tuner Picture-in-Picture TVs have another built in tuner, but a single-tuner Picture-in-Picture TV requires an external signal source. The external signal source may be an external tuner, DVD player, Videocassette recorder, or a cable box. This mode can be used when you want to keep watching something before waiting for a program to start or during commercials.
In Android 7.0 and Android TV, users are able to watch multiple videos together while navigating within or between apps via the Picture-in-Picture (PIP) mode. The mode lets users run a video or movie in the pinned window while another video or movie/activity continues in the background. The mode enables users to multitask which in turn increases one’s productivity.
Mostly, it’s your app that has the ability to decide when to trigger PIP mode. Here, we give some examples when you can activate the PIP mode:
- An app moves a video into the PIP mode when the user navigates back from the video to browse another app or content.
- An app can enter a video into PIP mode while the device user reaches the end of a content or a movie/series. The main screen then displays promotional information or content about the next episode in the series.
- An app goes into PIP mode where there is a requirement for provision of a way for users to queue up additional content at the same time while users are watching a movie or going through some content. The video continues playing in PIP mode the main video and at the same time, the main screen displays a content selection activity.
- The PIP window size is of 240 x 135 dp and can be seen at the top-most layer in one of the four corners of the screen.The positioning is chosen by the system based on the requirements. The users can bring up a PIP menu that lets them toggle between the PIP-enabled windows and the full-screen. You can close the PIP windows by holding down the Home button on the TV remote. Whenever a new video starts playing on the main screen, the PIP window gets closed automatically.
Enabling Picture-in-Picture (PIP) mode is not rocket science. One of the most recent features in Android 8.0 Oreo is the ability to customize the Navigation bar. The feature provides you with the ability to add new functions using special key codes to the navigation bar. You can utilize this feature to toggle PIP mode in Android 8.0 Oreo DP1. All you will need to do is add a PIP toggle switch on the navigation bar, and the start triggering the PIP mode.
If the phone/device you are concerned with runs on Android 8.0 Oreo developer preview one, then follow the steps mentioned below to enable Picture-in-Picture for YouTube app. You must know that, currently, PIP supports YouTube app only. Kind of a bummer, but wait for some time. Lot many apps are working towards enabling this features.
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How to activate Picture-in-Picture mode in Android 8.0 Oreoreo:
- The first thing that you need to accomplish is to enable the System UI Tuner by long pressing on the Setting cog option.
- Then in the System UI Tuner, select the ‘Navigation bar’ and then tap on the ‘Extra right button type’.
- When you move on to the next screen, select the Keycode and then click on ‘Right Keycode’. [button type=”Round” color=”” target=”” link=”https://developer.android.com/reference/android/view/KeyEvent.html”]find various key codes[/button] .
- Next, you will need to enter the keycode 177 and tap ‘OK’ to save the same.
- Now, tap on the Right icon, and then choose an icon as per your preference for your navigation bar. When you look at the navigation bar, you will see it displayed on the right side of the navigation bar.
Now that you are ready with the Picture-in-Picture mode, you can check the same by opening the YouTube app, playing a video, and then tapping the new icon on navigation bar icon. You are ready to enjoy your content in the Picture-in-Picture mode.
In this Youtube Video, you can see that they have opened up the YouTube app and navigated to a video. The video is then paused. Next, when you press the navigation key, the YouTube app collapses and you can see that the video is displayed in an inset window and all the other apps/content is displayed in subsequent windows on top of all other activities (such as Google Play Music and the Pixel Launcher). The window can also be moved around the UI (user interface).
Next, in the video, you can see that they press the window which restores the YouTube app to the video that was originally being watched, and then the playback starts. When you press the button to launch the Picture-in-Picture mode, it minimizes the YouTube app while the video is still on! You might not feel quite comfortable now with the YouTube app example as the video doesn’t cover the entire window while it resumes playing. The most useful use case that one can utilize the PiP mode for is to listen to any audio or music while you are working on your simple office tasks or taking up a freelancing project (like I am doing now!) as the relatively small screens of smartphones has some constraints when compared to Android TV devices.
Hope this clarifies your doubts on how to activate Picture-in-Picture mode in Android and helps you to enjoy multiple activities at the same time!