Picture in Picture video-watching capabilities were introduced in iOS 9 last year. Now, it has come to the Mac! You can keep a video running on top while working in other apps. We show you how to watch picture in picture videos in macOS Sierra after the jump.
Picture in Picture running on a Windows PC.
What’s Picture in Picture for anyway?
Picture in Picture is considered a pretty old feature by now. Plenty of TVs have it. It allows you to have two separate videos running inside the same screen. On iOS, Android, Mac and Windows devices, it allows you to keep a video running in the foreground while you use other apps.
The problem it solves is the same everywhere. Picture in Pictures allows for people to multi-task i.e. work on do things at once. I personally think that is impossible, and fairly counter-productive but I’m not other people.
I do understand, however, that there are legit cases where you would want to keep a small video running in the corner. One such case is when you’re using the video as a reference for the work you’re doing in another app.
Now Available in macOS Sierra
So yes, back on topic: Picture in Picture will be available in macOS Sierra when it releases publicly this fall. If you’re feeling brave, you can indeed install the Developer Preview today, or the public beta when it releases in July.
This guide applies for all macOS Sierra users; doesn’t matter if you’re on the preview, the public beta, or the final public release.
Picture in Picture is fairly easy to use on the Mac. Anytime you start playing a video in Safari, you can click on the Picture in Picture button near volume, full screen, AirPlay controls. The icon for the button can be seen below to the left of the full-screen button. Click on that. Your video will now be pulled out of the Safari browser, and have its separate container.
You can resize the container to match your preference. You can also place it any of the four corners on your screen. The container will keep running on top of other apps, including apps running in full screen mode.
To close Picture in Picture mode, simply click again on the Picture in Picture button inside the video container. This will pull the video back into Safari.
As of typing, Picture in Picture in macOS Sierra works in Safari, QuickTime and iTunes. We expect third-party apps like VLC to support it at a later stage as the developers get time to integrate it into their apps.
And that’s about it! We hope this humble little how-to guide helped you.