Android Users Can Now Enjoy Picture-in-Picture Mode for Web Pages

The Picture-in-Picture (PiP) feature, known for its versatility, was initially introduced in Android Pie (9.0) and has expanded across numerous applications, including several Google apps like Google Maps and YouTube (available for Premium users). However, one notably absent app that could greatly benefit from PiP functionality is Chrome. But recent developments suggest it’s now possible to activate picture-in-picture mode for entire tabs in Chrome on Android, enabling users to minimize tabs into PiP mode.

Initially discovered by AssembleDebug, a keen tipster, this feature is accessible across all Chromium-based browsers. However, it’s currently concealed within the Chrome flags section, accessible by entering “chrome://flags” in the URL bar. It’s important to note that, as of now, the feature operates solely within Android System WebView. Here’s a guide on how to activate it:

This functionality, tested in Chrome version 120, enables users to tap a downward arrow located in the top bar, facilitating the minimization of the tab into PiP mode.

Minimizing Web Pages in Picture-in-Picture Mode on Android

  • Update Chrome: Open the Play Store, search for Chrome, and ensure it’s up-to-date.
  • Access Chrome Flags: Launch Chrome and enter “chrome://flags” in the URL bar.
  • Search for Feature: Use the search bar on the flags page and look for “cct-minimized.

  • Enable the Feature: Tap the dropdown next to the feature and select “Enable.”
  • Relaunch Chrome: A prompt will appear; tap “Relaunch” to restart Chrome with the changes.
  • Open Webpage in WebView: To test the feature, open a webpage using WebView. You can click on an Instagram ad or follow a link within an app.
  • Minimize to PiP: Once the webpage opens, you should see a downward arrow on the top bar. Tap this arrow to minimize the webpage into Picture-in-Picture mode.

The WebView’s new Picture-in-Picture feature undoubtedly addresses a persistent issue with losing data upon navigating back from a webpage. The ability to seamlessly minimize a page to PiP mode offers a more efficient way to manage tasks without losing context or data input.

It’s essential to highlight that the single-instance limitation for PiP Chrome windows prevents multiple WebView windows from being minimized simultaneously. This limitation ensures only one active PiP Chrome window at a time. What’s your take on this latest feature enhancement? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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