Google announced in May that Chrome OS would get picture-in-picture mode for Android apps with the Android P update. The company has been testing the Android P update for Chromebooks for a few months. Chromebooks never received the Android Oreo update, as Google intends to jump straight from Android Nougat to Android P.
Last month, a comment on the Chromium Code Review showed that Google is testing the Android P update only for Chromebooks with kernel version 3.18 and above. This means that Chromebooks with kernel version 3.14 (such as the 2015 Chromebook Pixel) will probably not get the Android P update, which means they won’t be receiving the picture-in-picture feature for Android apps. The focus for testing the Android P update is for Linux kernel version 4.4 and 4.14, with support for Linux kernel version 3.18 being the cut off point. Chromebooks with kernel version 3.18 won’t get the Android P update until at least Chrome OS 71, which is scheduled for December.
Now, a commit in the Chromium Gerrit indicates that Chrome OS may let users resize picture-in-picture mode for Android apps. The commit is titled: “Allow resizing for PIP windows.” It should be noted that it isn’t merged yet. When it’s merged, users of Chromebooks eligible to receive the Android P update will be able to resize the picture-in-picture windows for Android apps.
Picture-in-picture was one of the major new features of Android Oreo. Picture-in-picture (PIP) mode is a special type of multi-window mode that is mostly used for video playback, as it lets users watch videos in a small window pinned to the corner of a screen while navigating between apps or browsing content on the main screen. App adoption of the new feature was slow at the beginning. This month, picture-in-picture began to work in YouTube for non-Red users in the US.
Chrome OS has also been getting other new features in the past few months, such as Android-like app shortcuts. App shortcuts are now available in the developer channel. Chrome OS 69 will also include support for Gboard.
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