Update: We've updated this article with Netflix's coy response.
While you may or may not wish you could be more productive while streaming, Netflix is giving select users the chance to try. Earlier today Engadget reported the popular streaming service is testing out a pop-out that enables a picture-in-picture mode on desktop computers.
With the feature, users should be able to watch their favorite shows and movies in a floating box that hovers above other programs and internet windows. Unlike split-screen mode or manually adjusting the size of your browser, the pop-out doesn’t have a search bar, page tabs, or black wide-screen bars -- just the content and an “x” to exit.
If you’re one of the users who can test out what we’re calling “productivity mode,” you’ll see a small picture-in-picture icon on the bottom right of the screen. Click it to open a new window with whatever you’re watching, and from there you can resize and reposition it. Subtitles don’t seem to be available in the window.
One of our writers was able to access the feature on his desktop, and it worked regardless of which browser he used. Here’s how Netflix describes the Pop-Out Player on the page that replaces the web page he pulled his show out of:
- Multi-task while it stays on top of other windows and applications
- To resize it, click and drag the corners
- To close it, click the X in the player, Back to Browse, or close this tab
Like any other tech company, Netflix routinely tests features with select consumers. Some eventually find their way into the product and become available to all users, while others get disposed of and rejected. We hope picture-in-picture mode ends up being one of the former. (Mostly so we have an excuse to keep up with our favorite Netflix shows while at work.)
We reached out to Netflix for comment. This was their response:
Credit: Tom's Guide/Netflix