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WhatsApp for Android Gets Updated Picture-in-Picture Feature With Ability to Play Videos Even in the Background

Picture-in-Picture feature was introduced for Android users of the chat app as a part of a WhatApp update late last year.

WhatsApp for Android Gets Updated Picture-in-Picture Feature With Ability to Play Videos Even in the Background

WhatsApp for Android originally added Picture-in-Picture (PiP) feature back in December last year

  • WhatsApp has enabled background playback through PiP feature on Android
  • Previously, the feature wasn't allowing playback once you leave a chat
  • WhatsApp brought the PiP feature first to iPhone in January last year

WhatsApp for Android has been updated with an enhanced Picture-in-Picture (PiP) feature that allows users to watch videos in a pop-up window even while switching from one chat to another. It also continues to play the video on the floating window when WhatsApp is in the background. It's worth pointing out that WhatsApp for iPhone allowed users to play back videos while switching between conversations, something that Android has been missing for a while now. However, the fresh update brings the support to the Android app, while also introducing the new background playback functionality that isn't available on the iPhone. The update is initially available for testing purposes only and is a part of the WhatsApp beta programme.

The Picture-in-Picture feature is notably a part of WhatsApp for Android since December last year. However, up until now, the feature was enabling the playback of videos on the small, pop-up window only in individual chats and group conversations. This was unlike the experience on WhatsApp for iPhone that debuted back in January last year and was allowing users to continue watching a video in a pop-up window even while switching from one chat to another simultaneously. Therefore, the PiP experience on Android version of the app was drastically inferior to the one on WhatsApp for iPhone.  

Nevertheless, the WhatsApp team is now apparently upgrading the original PiP feature on Android by allowing continuous playback of videos on the pop-up window when you switch between multiple chats or even when going back to the home screen of your Android device. The window will remain there to let you watch videos from sources such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube seamlessly.

whatsapp picture in picture feature android update gadgets 360 WhatsApp for Android

WhatsApp for Android gets an upgraded Picture-in-Picture (PiP) feature


As reported by WABetaInfo, the update to the PiP feature is a part of WhatsApp beta version 2.19.177 for Android. We were able to verify the upgraded Picture-in-Picture and background playback features existed in this version.

You can experience the change by downloading the latest WhatsApp beta for Android directly from the Google Play. Alternatively, its APK file is available for download through APK Mirror that can be sideloaded on your device.

We discussed what WhatsApp absolutely needs to do in 2019, on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.


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Further reading: WhatsApp for Android, WhatsApp
Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at jagmeets@ndtv.com. Please send in your leads and tips. More
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