After years of requests from users, Apple is finally bringing picture-in-picture (PiP) support to the Apple TV. The feature wasn’t announced during the company’s WWDC keynote for unknown reasons, but has appeared in the latest tvOS 13 beta 2 release. With this new feature, users don’t have to choose between watching their current show or browsing the catalog for new content.
TVs have featured picture-in-picture as a standard offering for many years, though traditionally the feature has revolved around placing one small video box in the corner of the screen while a larger full screen video played behind it. The feature is convenient for watching two shows at once, such as a sports game in the background while your favorite prime time show is on.
The modern version of picture-in-picture, which has slowly arrived in video apps like YouTube, involves displaying a small thumbnail video stream with audio in the corner while the rest of the app is available for browsing. You can’t play two videos at the same time with this feature, but you can scroll through what else is available without closing the current video stream.
This same functionality will be available on Apple TV in the future, according to 9to5Mac, which spied the unannounced feature in the new tvOS 13 beta release. The big benefit here is that unlike in apps, where you simply watch the video while browsing the rest of the app, Apple TV’s PiP feature enable users to navigate in the entire operating system.
This means users can reduce the video to a small thumbnail in the corner of the TV, then browse other apps installed on the device. In addition to the new functionality, tvOS 13 beta 2 also introduces a redesigned Home screen with video previews in the background, multi-user support with this update, and new BBC ‘Under the Sea’ screensavers.