Chrome could get a big multitasking boost on Android — here’s what it means for you

Chrome browser on phone with Chrome logo in the background
(Image credit: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Picture-in-picture (PiP) mode is a great way of multitasking on Android, particularly on smaller screens that don’t necessarily work so well with the typical split-screen approach. The good news is that Google may be getting ready to expand PiP, and give you the chance to reduce Chrome Custom Tabs to a little floating on-screen window.

Chrome Custom Tabs are the browser tabs you open from within another app. So if you open a link from an email or social media post, it’ll appear in a browser window within the app rather than the Chrome app. And unlike Chrome, these windows haven’t offered the chance to minimize a specific tab as a PiP window — but that might change.

Twitter/X user Assemble Debug has discovered that Chrome for Android has now added a button specifically for this. Letting you minimize a Chrome Custom Tab into a floating window instantly. 

The regular Chrome browser already has this feature, but it’s pretty limited — and restricted to minimizing full-screen videos. As Android Police notes, adding the feature to Chrome Custom Tabs means it could be a little more accessible. Not that minimizing text to a small window is going to be very functional, though it could ensure quick and easy access to a specific web page if you need to move onto something else for a while.

While PiP support for Chrome Custom Tabs has been spotted before, it was only available in Chrome Canary 121 — rather than the stable, public version of the browser. Sadly this feature isn’t open to everyone just yet, and has been disabled by default. That means you’d need to activate a specific flag to gain access, which can be found in Chrome’s flags menu — and enabled the cct-minimized option.

Then again you could always just wait for Google to activate the flag itself, assuming you’re willing to wait. There’s no telling if and when that might actually be. Hopefully soon.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.