Hands-On with Microsoft Movies & TV’s New Mini Mode

Posted on March 1, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Movies & TV, Windows 10 with 10 Comments

Hands-On with Microsoft Movies & TV's New Mini Mode

Microsoft Movies & TV is the first Windows 10 app to support the new PIP-like Compact Overlay feature that is coming in the Creators Update. It’s called mini mode.

Microsoft revealed that it would be adding Compact Overlay to the Creators Update earlier this month, but it’s only recently been made available in an app for the first time. Basically, it allows apps to provide a Picture-in-Picture (PIP) type display so that the user can continue viewing video while using other apps. I joked at the time that iPad has had this functionality for years, because it has, but it’s a useful update nonetheless, of course.

To use mini mode with Movies & TV, you need both the latest version of the app and a recent build of the Creators Update. I assume it will become generally available by the time the Creators Update ships.

Here’s a quick look at how this feature works. It’s pretty straightforward.

While playing a video with the Movies & TV app, you’ll see a new “Play in mini mode” button in the bottom right of the app, next to the “Full Screen” button. This is what toggles mini mode, which is this app’s implementation of Compact Overlay.

When you toggle mini mode, the video playback switches to a smaller window with a few options—Skip back, Play/Pause, Skip forward, and Leave mini mode—which appear when you mouse over it.

You can resize the window as needed. And move it around the screen to a position you prefer.

In other words, yes, it works exactly as expected.

Microsoft noted earlier this month that Skype Preview will also take advantage of Compact Overlay in a coming update. But if you use the Skype desktop application today, you know how that one works already, since that app has supported a similar feature for years as well.