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WhatsApp adds picture-in-picture feature, though you probably can't use it

The Whatsapp Beta has introduced a new picture-in-picture mode that you can use during your video calls -- well, if you're running Android O that is.

Published onJuly 20, 2017

With over 1 billion active monthly users, WhatsApp is one of the most popular apps in the world, and for good reason. The well known communications app is packed full of really great features for spicing up otherwise boring text conversations and is so popular that even Apple took a page out of their book with iOS 10, introducing many of the same features to iMessage. WhatsApp isn’t content to hold still either, as evident by a pretty stellar new feature the app has just introduced.

So what’s the big new feature? Basically it’s a picture-in-picture mode that you can use during your video calls. What this means is WhatsApp will now allow you to continue the video call in a minimized screen while browsing through the rest of your conversation. While it’s not a massive game changer, it’s still a pretty useful addition. The catch? The feature is currently only available in the beta version of WhatsApp, and only for the select few using the Android O Dev Preview. That means there is only a limited amount of folks who can actually use the feature right now.

The reason for the Android O Dev Preview exclusivity is that the feature is made possible thanks to a new API included in Android O, which unfortunately means that the vast majority of us won’t be able to see or use this feature for quite some time. More than likely once Android O becomes an official release in the near future, this feature will make its way out of beta and over to the consumer-ready version of WhatsApp, though unless they find a work around — it will still likely require Android O or newer.

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If you’ve got the Android O Dev Preview, you should be able to use this feature now, though keep in mind its a beta feature on a dev version of an OS — so your mileage may vary when it comes to how well the feature currently works. For those that have given it a try, let us know your thoughts down in the comments.

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