Inside iOS 9: Apple's iPad-only 'Picture in Picture' mode lets you keep watching video with any task

Posted:
in iPad edited September 2015
With the release of iOS 9 this week, iPad owners can now shrink video and continue watching and listening while accomplishing other tasks, thanks to Apple's all-new Picture in Picture mode.




Picture in Picture mode is invoked by taking a full-screen video and tapping an icon in the bottom right corner. Doing so shrinks the video to a corner of the iPad's screen, and the content will remain in that general vicinity as the user goes on to do other tasks.

PIP videos can be displayed in a range of customizable sizes, increased or decreased with pinching gestures. The video can be dragged to all four corners of the screen.

he video itself will automatically move to get out of the way of essential items --?for example, when navigating to the home screen, a video pinned to the bottom of the iPad display will move upward slightly to accommodate for the iOS app dock.




In addition to being viewed in all four corners, Picture in Picture can also be dragged off the screen to make room to see more of the display. By simply dragging the video window off to the side, a sliver of the video will remain viewable, allowing it to be dragged back into view whenever a user chooses. Apple includes a semi-transparent arrow icon on the sliver of the video, indicating to the user that the content can be dragged back onto the main display.




Tapping the PIP window once will bring up three oversized, easy-to-press buttons allowing the user to return the video to its original location, play or pause the clip, or close it completely.

Picture in Picture works in any video viewable within Safari, as well as Apple's own native Videos app. Any third-party application using the standard iOS playback controls can do Picture in Picture. The app must support Apple's tools for background playback in iOS.




However, applications using proprietary video players do not support PIP capabilities. That includes popular video playing apps such as YouTube and Netflix.

If a user plays other media while Picture in Picture is enabled, such as a song or another video, the PIP video will automatically pause. Replaying the PIP video will pause the other media accordingly as well.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 78
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,253member
    The PIP window can be viewed at any size. Craig Federighi demonstrated this.
  • Reply 2 of 78
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 749editor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    The PIP window can be viewed at any size. Craig Federighi demonstrated this.



    In the first beta of iOS 9, the video can be displayed in three pre-set sizes. You cannot customize the video to any size beyond these three.

  • Reply 3 of 78

    That means no YouTube, it doesn't support background playback.

     

    And Googs is unlikely to support it. They can't have you hiding ads off screen.

  • Reply 4 of 78
    PIP with an iPad pro (or plus) would be interesting. Regular iPad is still a bit small for multitasking
  • Reply 5 of 78
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,253member
    nhughes wrote: »

    In the first beta of iOS 9, the video can be displayed in three pre-set sizes. You cannot customize the video to any size beyond these three.

    Hmm... Then that is obviously different than what was shown in the demo.
  • Reply 6 of 78
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    Hmm... Then that is obviously different than what was shown in the demo.



    CRAIG'S A LIAR! FIRE HIM AND TIM COOK TOO!

     

    ;)

     

    Probably still a work in progress.

  • Reply 7 of 78

    Not something I'll ever use, looks odd, very un-iOS.

  • Reply 8 of 78
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,253member

    CRAIG'S A LIAR! FIRE HIM AND TIM COOK TOO!

    ;)

    Probably still a work in progress.

    Steve NEVER would've... /s ????
  • Reply 9 of 78
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member



    This looks like a really cool and useful feature (I know I'll use it), but somehow also distinctly un-Apple-like. I'm not saying it's bad or anything – I just feel that this doesn't fall along most of their design thinking. I'm so used to them going with a "purity of design", focused windows, nothing "messily placed just anywhere" sort of thinking (especially on the iPad) that this feels very out of character for Apple. I'm interested in seeing if we see more of these type of design decisions over the next couple years and if it's a trend rather than a one-off.

  • Reply 10 of 78
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tjskywasher View Post

     

    Not something I'll ever use, looks odd, very un-iOS.


    You're right. I still don't like the Mac being able to run more than one program at a time either. System 2.0 Forever. Multifinder shmulty finder. And who needs that stupid preemptive multitasking.

  • Reply 11 of 78
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,253member
    Not something I'll ever use, looks odd, very un-iOS.

    Once they work out the whole 'mid-air 3-D image projection' thing, it'll be fine. ????
  • Reply 12 of 78
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,253member
    smiles77 wrote: »

    This looks like a really cool and useful feature (I know I'll use it), but somehow also distinctly un-Apple-like. I'm not saying it's bad or anything – I just feel that this doesn't fall along most of their design thinking. I'm so used to them going with a "purity of design", focused windows, nothing "messily placed just anywhere" sort of thinking (especially on the iPad) that this feels very out of character for Apple. I'm interested in seeing if we see more of these type of design decisions over the next couple years and if it's a trend rather than a one-off.

    Actually, it's a very OS X/desktop-like feature. In that respect, it really is different from what we've seen in iOS.
  • Reply 13 of 78
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    Actually, it's a very OS X/desktop-like feature. In that respect, it really is different from what we've seen in iOS.

     

    You know, it does remind me a lot of when QuickTime X came out and the look of the video window was so different from any other window on OS X since there was no chrome on it anywhere and you only saw control when hovering over it. It was like a glossy window into another full-screen device running the video and was really different from every other window design. While Apple has reduced in-window controls in some of their more recent apps (see iOS Safari when scrolling down and the top bar nearly disappears or Reader View), that kind of pure content view is still a rarity and sticks out.

     

    I do feel like between PIP and multi-window multitasking we could very well see that iPad Pro this fall. Also, an iPad and 12-inch MacBook have never been more similar than this update. The Alt-tab app switching, multitasking, keyboard shortcuts, Control Center, etc. that these two share is really getting close.

     

    Edit: Shoot, the iPad's software keyboard practically has a mousepad with cursor now. It really is crazy where this is all going.

  • Reply 14 of 78
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

     

    I do feel like between PIP and multi-window multitasking we could very well see that iPad Pro this fall. Also, an iPad and 12-inch MacBook have never been more similar than this update. The Alt-tab app switching, multitasking, keyboard shortcuts, Control Center, etc. that these two share is really getting close.


    I agree. I was planning on getting another year from my Air, but I will strongly be considering getting either a refurbished Air 2 or a new Air 3 this year (or perhaps wait for a refurb Air 3). It's definitely made me consider that I don't really need a new Mac now.

  • Reply 15 of 78
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     
    I agree. I was planning on getting another year from my Air, but I will strongly be considering getting either a refurbished Air 2 or a new Air 3 this year (or perhaps wait for a refurb Air 3). It's definitely made me consider that I don't really need a new Mac now.


     

    I too have an iPad Air and haven't really seen the need to upgrade in the near future, but the fact that multi-app multitasking will only support Air 2 and up has led me to reconsider that stance. I may end up getting an Air 3 after all.

  • Reply 16 of 78
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     
    I agree. I was planning on getting another year from my Air, but I will strongly be considering getting either a refurbished Air 2 or a new Air 3 this year (or perhaps wait for a refurb Air 3). It's definitely made me consider that I don't really need a new Mac now.


     

    I too have an iPad Air and haven't really seen the need to upgrade in the near future, but the fact that multi-app multitasking will only support Air 2 and up has led me to reconsider that stance. I may end up getting an Air 3 after all.


     

    Federicon Viticci makes a great point over at MacStories.net:

     

    "The iPad is on the cusp of becoming a completely new computer. This is not an overstatement. Anyone who uses the iPad enough has known for a long time that the device could be capable of a lot more, and iOS 9 is Apple’s answer.

     

    Last night, I was watching John Gruber’s live interview with Phil Schiller on my iPad, and I realized that I wanted to read people’s reactions on Twitter. I instinctively reached out to my iPhone, because that’s what I’ve been doing for years when watching live events: my iPad plays video and I use Twitter on my iPhone. Not anymore. Thanks to iOS 9, I put The Talk Show’s video player in a floating popup, opened Twitterrific, and continued watching. When I wanted to take notes, I swiped from the right edge of the screen and I started typing in Notes – all while still watching the video and having Twitterrific open at the same time. It all felt natural, and it was glorious."

     

    It's become an even more all-encompasing computer.

  • Reply 17 of 78
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

     

    It's become an even more all-encompasing computer.


    It also gives purpose to the Air 2's impressive internals, because iOS as it is definitely didn't need a tri-core CPU and eight core GPU. <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

  • Reply 18 of 78
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  • Reply 19 of 78
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dklebedev View Post



    All of this multitasking stuff is a load of crap. Multitouch text selection? Custom keyboards? Now they need to add themes and MS-style illogical gestures. Bloated mess in 3 years.



    Funny how you probably posted that from a multitasking OS.

  • Reply 20 of 78
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 597member
    Slingbox will probably take a year after this releases :( But it will be cool if and when it does.
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