Android TV 13 to bring an “expanded” picture-in-picture mode
Picture-in-picture mode is one of the most useful features of Android. It was first introduced on Android TV devices with Android 7.0 Nougat and was expanded to smartphones and tablets with Android 8.0 Oreo. Picture-in-picture, also known as PiP, is a multi-window mode that allows users to play videos in a small, floating window. And the feature is set to get even better in Android 13.
As discovered by Esper‘s Mishaal Rahman, Android 13 will introduce a new expanded picture-in-picture multi-window mode that will allow developers to create longer and wider PiP windows than it’s currently possible. But it seems the feature is intended for Android TV devices and not for smartphones.
Android TV 13 is bringing a new form of picture-in-picture mode called “expanded” PiP. This will enable PiP windows that are even longer or wider than before (ie. outside the 1:2.39 to 2.39:1 min/max aspect ratio).https://t.co/dh5AF9xX5d
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) March 25, 2022
The default aspect ratio of a picture-in-picture mode is 1.777778:1 (16:9). However, app developers can choose a custom aspect ratio between 1:2:39 to 2:39:1. But with Android 13’s new expanded picture-in-picture window, developers will be able to set a PiP window to be less than 1:2:39 or bigger than 2:39:1. As noted by Esper, the code for the expanded PiP multi-window mode can be found in the classes under com/android/wm/shell/pip/tv in SystemUI. The code also suggests that users will be able to move around the expanded multi-window on screen using DPAD key events.
In addition, Esper notes that Android 13 may also allow users to dock the expanded PiP windows side by side on Android TV devices. Note that Google hasn’t yet announced Android TV 13, so there’s no official documentation or guidance about the new expanded PiP mode.
Android 12 brought several refinements and improvements to PiP mode, including the ability to pinch-to-resize to make the PiP window smaller or bigger and stashing, which allows users to hide a window without having to completely close it by stashing it to the side.