Hands-On with Skype Preview’s New Picture-in-Picture Mode

Posted on March 6, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Skype, Windows 10 with 9 Comments

Skype Preview is the second Windows 10 in-box app to add support for the new Compact Overlay feature that is coming in the Creators Update. (The first was Movies & TV.)

Microsoft revealed that it would be adding Compact Overlay to the Creators Update in February, 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.

Thanks to a tip on Twitter from Microsoft’s Jen Gentleman, I see that Skype Preview, as promised, has also picked up this functionality in a new app update. To be clear, you will need both the latest version of the app and a recent build of the Creators Update to use this feature. I assume it will become generally available by the time the Creators Update ships.

If you’ve used the Skype desktop application for Windows, you’re already familiar with this functionality: Any time you’re in a video chat and the focus changes from the Skype app to another app or experience in Windows 10, it displays a mini window so you can keep track of the video. This lets you do something else while in a video chat.

Now, Skype Preview offers this functionality as well. And, yes, it works exactly as expected: I tested it this morning with Brad and his taunts and insults came through exactly as they would in the Skype desktop application. 🙂

In other words, not much to talk about. But it’s a nice addition to a quickly-improving app.


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Comments (9)

9 responses to “Hands-On with Skype Preview’s New Picture-in-Picture Mode”

  1. arknu

    How did you get the update? Mine is still stuck and not updating the inbox apps...

  2. Darekmeridian

    Update doesn't even show up for me.. and I am running 15048... weird.

    Same thing with the Movies & TV App...

  3. kenhes

    Looks like you're talking to Pa(l)m and not Brad. (Spelling ruining jokes since the dawn of writing)

  4. Rob_Wade

    It's got a long way to go. We're told we should use it as our default SMS client (as opposed to the Messaging app), but as such it doesn't support saving a phone number as an actual People contact, you can't share to it from Photos, it doesn't interface with People app Groups, and it barely functions as a basic SMS client.

  5. MutualCore

    Catching up with Apple again! J/K, nice to see important features like this in Windows. Can't wait to see the equivalent of Apple's Continuity/Handoff feature.

  6. nbplopes

    Wow, the incredible Skype tech now on UWP with the amazing Pip mode.

    This PiP mode on Windows 10 appeared in most major tech news sites in 2017and is not even launched I see dark ages coming in tech personal computing world. Back in to 2005.

    The trick is always the same. Overload the market with an huge amount of half baked features just with the aim of making the most incredible menu. But does it taste good? It does not matter, if it's the menu... Now it's a matter of improvement...

    Hard science and no marketing skills I know.

  7. jimchamplin

    does the window stay open over full screen games? The PiP would be great for walkthroughs on YouTube!

  8. SvenJ

    "I joked at the time that iPad has had this functionality for years." If years means 18 months, yea. (OS 9, Sep 2015) That added PiP and two app multitasking to an OS that never had either before. Are you suggesting that Windows never had the capability for PiP up till now? I have been watching PiP video using Hauppage software, and others, since XP. This seems to provide the opportunity for developers to incorporate an inherent OS function/capability into their apps with less effort. Neat. But it is not 'catching up.'

  9. mortarm

    Brad having a bad-hair day. ?