Android 12 just reinvented picture-in-picture on phones — here's your first look

Android 12 release date, beta and features
(Image credit: Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The picture-in-picture function of Google's mobile operating system is set to get some additional features in Android 12.

XDA has dived into Android 12’s first Developer Preview and discovered that Google looks set to add two huge improvements to picture-in-picture functionality: window resizing and window stashing. 

Picture-in-picture, which was first introduced in Android 8.0 Oreo, allows you to continue to watch videos playing from your browser or a supported app while doing something else like sending a message or browsing social media. 

The feature is super useful but has remained mostly untouched since 2017, but that looks set to change with these two features being added in the upcoming Android 12. 

Window resizing, referred to as pinch-to-resize, is pretty much exactly what it sounds like; Android 12 will give you the ability to resize the picture-in-picture window. This will be useful when you want to increase the window size to get a closer look at something or shrink it if it's getting in the way of using another app. 

Hiding a window without fully closing it, or stashing, will let you tuck away a PiP window without actually closing it. This feature is perfect for those times when you want to dedicate your whole device screen to something for a couple of minutes, or if you’re listening to a video that you need to be audio-only for a bit.

XDA reports that currently both features are in pretty rough shape, and are even disabled by default. Seeing as these features are currently being demoed in a Developer Preview version of the OS, we hope by the time Android 12 launches to the public the kinks will have been ironed out. 

While nothing has been confirmed yet, based on previous release schedules we expect Android 12 to launch around September this year — fingers crossed these two features will make the cut. 

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.