Chrome Picture-in-Picture Video Playback Always On Top

If your daily drive smartphone is an Android you probably have already experienced Picture-in-Picture mode, whether intentionally or accidentally.

Android 8.0 (API level 26) allows activities to launch in picture-in-picture (PIP) mode. PIP is a special type of multi-window mode mostly used for video playback. It lets the user watch a video in a small window pinned to a corner of the screen while navigating between apps or browsing content on the main screen.

The picture-in-picture mode is also a web standard that is still work in progress. You can find more details here and here. Chrome has recently brought this feature from mobile to all desktop browsers. Enabling this PiP mode means that if you are watching any video it will

allows you to watch videos in a floating window (always on top of other windows) so you can keep an eye on what you’re watching while interacting with other sites, or applications.

You can experience Picture-in-Picture mode right now by installing the Google extension here. To experience PiP, go to any YouTube video single page and click the Picture-in-Picture extension or press Alt+P in Chrome.

Chrome Picture-in-Picture extension

This will turn on the Picture-in-Picture mode of the video you are playing and it will overflow on top of any other Window. You are free to drag, resize and move the overflow video anywhere on the desktop. You can also use the hover-over play and pause control to resume or pause the video. Resizing the video has a limit that maxes out to around 1/4 of the entire screen to a very small thumbnail size as seen below.

Picture-In-Picture mode in action
YouTube when playing in Picture-in-Picture mode
Netflix when playing in Picture-in-Picture mode

This extension would turn most of the video into PiP mode but no guarantees. There is also some minor aspect ratio bug when you are using this on a portrait mode monitor. After all, if you like to multi-task with a video constantly playing in your peripheral this mode allows you just that. Give it a try!


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