New Chrome feature will let users take video calls while browsing − Report

Google is planning to expand its Picture-in-Picture (PiP) feature in the Chrome browser to video conferencing, which will enable users to take part in calls without leaving the browser.

This is according to a report from Techtsp, which claimed to have seen design documents for the feature compiled by Google engineer Tommy Steimel.

“We want to make it (PiP) more useful for video conferencing platforms,” said Steimel. “To accomplish this, we will add new actions to the MediaSession API and let websites declare handlers for those actions,” he said.

Chrome already offers a PiP feature for applications like Netflix, YouTube Premium and Google Maps, but the functionality does not work with browser-based video calls such as those on Zoom and Teams.

With the MediaSession API function, users will get access to controls in the PiP window which allow them to quickly mute their microphone, enable/disable the camera, and end conference calls.

Using Chrome PiP

The Chrome PiP feature is available on Linux, Mac, Windows, and Chrome OS, as well as on Android and iOS.

Smartphones running Android Oreo 8.0 or later, and iOS 14 and above recognise the PiP feature.

This permits pop-up video-play options and will allow users to move and watch videos in a floating window while using other applications.

While PiP differs per website, in most cases, users should be able to press down the smaller window and move it to anywhere on the screen.

It is unclear when Chrome will implement the PiP feature for video conferencing.

It appears that the concept is still in its early stages, with only mock-up designs available.

The image below is a mockup of the updated PiP feature.

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New Chrome feature will let users take video calls while browsing − Report