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YouTube Android app update tipped to bring picture-in-picture in-app “multitasking”

A new update for the official YouTube Android app is in the works, reportedly bringing a new feature to the app, the ability to watch a video while looking for other videos inside the app. Read on for more details!
July 2, 2013
YouTube Android app
Official YouTube Android app – version 4.5.17

A new update is reportedly in the works for the official YouTube Android app, with a tipster claiming that “real multitasking” is coming to the app.

The Verge forums poster ryan_socio – whom you may already know from his previous Nexus-related and Hangouts leaks that he posted on the same forum – now says that he was able to test the new app on a Galaxy Nexus, where it worked “really fast and fluidly.”

So what’s this real multitasking feature anyway? Apparently the new YouTube app version will let you watch a video while simultaneously looking for other videos, an in-app multitasking feature if you will, or a sort of picture-in-picture kind of functionality – although you won’t be able to play two videos simultaneously.

Here’s how the work should work according to the tipster:

  • App will retain current aesthetic
  • When you start a video an arrow pointing down will appear at the top left corner
  • Swiping on the arrow will create a small window at the bottom left corner of the screen where the video will continue playing
  • You can continue scrolling through other videos simultaneously
  • It currently doesn’t support system wide capabilities but that should come by launch time

The tipster did not say when the app would be updated – it was last updated about a month ago to version 4.5.17. Even though he has proven to be a more than reliable source in the past, there’s nothing official from Google on this rumored update, so you should still hold on to a grain of salt while waiting for Google to release it.

In the mean time, we’ll remind you that if you have certain Samsung devices, you can already enjoy the Pop Up Play multitasking feature that lets you watch locally stored videos while you perform a different task.

Moreover, if you want to do the same thing with YouTube videos, there’s an app for that – aptly called Floating YouTube Popup Video – that offers pretty much the same Pop Up Video functionality to a variety of devices. However, the official YouTube Android app is expected to offer such functionalities in the future, as the same ryan_socio said in the comments section of his post that “system wide capabilities” actually means watching YouTube videos while using other apps.