Netflix Adds Picture-in-Picture Mode Support for Android 8.1
One of the most useful features that came with Android Oreo is Picture-in-Picture mode for phones, which allows users to play their videos in a small, floating window. PiP mode utilizes the multi-window APIs introduced in Android 7.0. The feature first made it to Android TV devices with Android 7.0 Nougat but with Android Oreo, Google finally brought the feature to mobile devices, too.
PiP mode is pretty useful for video playback apps as users can minimize the video while it’s still playing and navigate through other apps at the same time. The video can be moved or paused, and users won’t miss out on their content should they need to quickly juggle between a few apps in order to complete a task.
At the time being, only Google’s own apps and a handful of third-party apps have support for PiP. While the list of apps which support PiP mode is small at the moment, the feature is slowly gaining traction among app developers and we are seeing more apps implementing this useful feature. WhatsApp added PiP support a while back, then we saw VLC Media Player getting this functionality and now it appears Netflix has also implemented PiP mode in its latest update.
Oddly enough, the feature is only available on devices running Android 8.1 Oreo, which limits its availability to only Pixel and Nexus devices for now. We don’t see why Netflix is adding PiP support on Android 8.1 but not on Android 8.0, when the latter also has support for PiP. We really hope Netflix adds support for PiP for Android 8.0 as well, so that more users can take advantage of this nifty feature. Given Netflix is such a popular service, it’s something that’ll likely see a lot of use.
With that said, if you do have a Pixel or Nexus device running Android 8.1 Oreo, you can try out PiP mode in Netflix right now. The feature is available in the latest version of the Netflix app so be sure to update your app first.
After updating, fire up the Netflix app, tap on the video you want to play and hit the home button. You’ll notice that your video will continue to play in a floating window as you move between different apps or browse other content on the main screen.