Android 12 offers pinch-to-resize and stashing for PiP windows


Picture-in-picture was one of the most hyped features of Android 8.0 Oreo, and even today, it’s one of the biggest additions made to Android in recent times. If you are not familiar with this, you can still watch videos that are currently being played by your browser or other apps while you do something else. Since then, it has become a key functionality for apps like YouTube that lets you keep watching videos while using other apps. But it hasn’t received any new tweaks or enhancements since its launch in 2017, but that could change now that Android 12 is around the corner.

Here it is in action. Feat. @ Dave2D

– Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) February 18, 2021

Our in-depth look at the first Android 12 Developer Preview revealed that Google added two new enhancements to the picture-in-picture feature in Android 12. The first of these is resizing as it sounds: you can use two fingers to resize the window and make it bigger or smaller as needed. The second of these is stowage, which allows you to hide a window without closing it completely by tucking it sideways. Neither of these features are enabled by default, which isn’t really surprising as both features are very rough right now.

There are many scenarios in which you might want to use both of these functions. Hence, it will definitely come in handy for Google to add them in Android 12. Maybe you’re looking at something and need to zoom in on the video feed to see it a little more closely, or maybe you’re hearing the audio of a video but the floating window is interfering with what you’re doing in another app, so just tuck it away.

While it’s pretty choppy at the moment, that’s to be expected as we’re using a very early version of this operating system. Once Android 12 gets ready in the next few months, we should be able to see it work better and smoother, or be scrapped entirely.

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