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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