Support for picture-in-picture mode in apps was one of the headlining features of Android Oreo. The feature already existed in some manufacturer custom user interfaces, but Android Oreo brought native support for the feature. App adoption for picture-in-picture mode was tepid at first, as even Google opted to relegate picture-in-picture mode in YouTube for YouTube Red subscribers in the beginning. Picture-in-picture mode has since been adopted by the likes of VLC media player and desktop Google Chrome. Last month, we saw that WhatsApp was working on adding such a feature. Now, the feature is available for users who have updated to the latest 2.18.301 beta version.
WhatsApp is the most popular messaging service globally, with two billion monthly users. Recently, the app has received many features, which we have been keeping track of. In 2018 alone, the company has developed new group managing features such as user search, the ability for group administrators to restrict members of a group from sending messages, a mute feature, a “Mark as Read” shortcut button for notifications, group voice and video calling, a dark mode, and more. Yesterday, WhatsApp rolled out the Swipe to Reply feature for beta users.
WABetaInfo reports that WhatsApp is now rolling out the picture-in-picture mode feature for all Android 4.4+ users who have updated to the latest 2.18.301 beta version. It has been in development since the 2.18.234 beta update. Users can now play videos hosted on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Streamable within WhatsApp itself. When they send or receive a link to one of these services on WhatsApp, they now have an option to play the video in picture-in-picture mode.
When they tap the play icon on, for example, a YouTube video, WhatsApp will show them the video in picture-in-picture mode. This allows them to continue messaging in the chat while watching the video. However, WABetaInfo notes that the picture-in-picture mode disappears when the user switches to another chat. This behavior doesn’t exist in iOS, so Android users can expect to seen an update fixing this issue.
Users can download the latest WhatsApp 2.18.301 beta version from APKMirror.
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