Highlights

  • New picture-in-picture (PIP) mode introduced for video calling
  • It is not clear if the PIP window can be moved anywhere on the screen by users
  • Update lets you set text-only self-destructing status updates

From a text messaging app to a video calling app, Whatsapp has taken the world by a storm for sure. But the prime medium and platform of socialising isn’t done yet. Whatsapp has just released its Picture-In-Picture mode for video calling for Android 8.0. The update also gives you the ability to set text only, self- destructing status updates.

Basically, now you can put text-only updates on your status which will be visible for 24 hours only. You tap the pencil icon in the Status tab, type what you wish and pick a background colour or font of your liking. Also, when on a video call, you can simply tap back to continue your video call in picture-in-picture mode, a feature available only for Android 8.0 users or higher.

WhatsApp
Photo Credit: Android Police

The text-only updates can also include link previews for URLs and they are visible in the status tab and will vanish after 24 hours. It looks as if it’s kind of a blend of Facebook and Snapchat’s statuses. Picture-in-picture mode will only work on devices running Android 8.0 as it’s an Oreo specific feature. WhatsApp has now joined apps like Duo and YouTube in displaying PIP video while you do other things.

The PIP mode on WhatsApp works the same way as the feature on Google Duo does that allows users to stay on the video call regardless of doing other things on the smartphone. The PIP feature on WhatsApp on Android O also lets users mute their microphone.

As this feature has been spotted on Android devices, we now have to wait and see if it is going to make its way to iPhone as well, though understanding the fact that the new feature is probably using Android O’s APIs, this might be a little difficult for now.

It is however not clear whether the new feature of the PIP window on WhatsApp is movable on the screen or not as of yet. Also, it is not confirmed if the feature will work when the user switches to another app during the video call session. We have to wait for a little while for the detailed information.

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