Picture-in-picture (PiP) support

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Starting in Android 8.0 (API level 26), Android allows activities to launch in picture-in-picture (PiP) mode. PiP is a special type of multi-window mode mostly used for video playback. It lets the user watch a video in a small window pinned to a corner of the screen while navigating between apps or browsing content on the main screen.

PiP leverages the multi-window APIs made available in Android 7.0 to provide the pinned video overlay window. To add PiP to your app, you need to register your activities that support PiP, switch your activity to PiP mode as needed, and make sure UI elements are hidden and video playback continues when the activity is in PiP mode.

The PiP window appears in the topmost layer of the screen, in a corner chosen by the system.

How users can interact with the PiP window

Users can drag the PiP window to another location. Starting in Android 12, users can also:

  • Single-tap the window to display a full-screen toggle, a close button, a settings button, and custom actions provided by your app (for example, play controls).

  • Double-tap the window to toggle between the current PiP size and the maximum or minimum PiP size—for example, double-tapping a maximized window minimizes it, and the converse is true as well.

  • Stash the window by dragging it to the left or right edge. To unstash the window, either tap the visible part of the stashed window or drag it out.

  • Resize the PiP window using pinch-to-zoom.

Your app controls when the current activity enters PiP mode. Here are some examples:

  • An activity can enter PiP mode when the user taps the home button or swipes up to home. This is how Google Maps continues to display directions while the user runs another activity at the same time.

  • Your app can move a video into PiP mode when the user navigates back from the video to browse other content.

  • Your app can switch a video into PiP mode while a user watches the end of an episode of content. The main screen displays promotional or summary information about the next episode in the series.

  • Your app can provide a way for users to queue up additional content while they watch a video. The video continues playing in PiP mode while the main screen displays a content selection activity.

Declare PiP support

By default, the system does not automatically support PiP for apps. If you want support PiP in your app, register your video activity in your manifest by setting android:supportsPictureInPicture to true. Also, specify that your activity handles layout configuration changes so that your activity doesn't relaunch when layout changes occur during PiP mode transitions.

<activity android:name="VideoActivity"
    android:supportsPictureInPicture="true"
    android:configChanges=
        "screenSize|smallestScreenSize|screenLayout|orientation"
    ...

Switch your activity to PiP

Starting with Android 12, you can switch your activity to PiP mode by setting the setAutoEnterEnabled flag to true. With this setting, an activity automatically switches to PiP mode as needed without having to explicitly call enterPictureInPictureMode() in onUserLeaveHint. And this has the added benefit of providing much smoother transitions. For details, see Make transitions to PiP mode smoother from gesture navigation.

If you're targeting Android 11 or lower, an activity must call enterPictureInPictureMode() to switch to PiP mode. For example, the following code switches an activity to PiP mode when the user clicks a dedicated button in the app's UI:

Kotlin

override fun onActionClicked(action: Action) {
    if (action.id.toInt() == R.id.lb_control_picture_in_picture) {
        activity?.enterPictureInPictureMode()
        return
    }
}

Java

@Override
public void onActionClicked(Action action) {
    if (action.getId() == R.id.lb_control_picture_in_picture) {
        getActivity().enterPictureInPictureMode();
        return;
    }
    ...
}

You might want to include logic that switches an activity into PiP mode instead of going into the background. For example, Google Maps switches to PiP mode if the user presses the home or recents button while the app is navigating. You can catch this case by overriding onUserLeaveHint():

Kotlin

override fun onUserLeaveHint() {
    if (iWantToBeInPipModeNow()) {
        enterPictureInPictureMode()
    }
}

Java

@Override
public void onUserLeaveHint () {
    if (iWantToBeInPipModeNow()) {
        enterPictureInPictureMode();
    }
}

Recommended: provide users a polished PiP transition experience

Android 12 added significant cosmetic improvements to the animated transitions between fullscreen and PiP windows. We strongly recommend implementing all applicable changes; once you've done so, these changes automatically scale to large screens such as foldables and tablets without any further required work.

If your app doesn't include applicable updates, PiP transitions are still functional, but the animations are less polished. For example, transitioning from fullscreen to PiP mode can cause the PiP window to disappear during the transition before it reappears when the transition is complete.

These changes involve the following.

  • Making transitions to PiP mode smoother from gesture navigation
  • Setting a proper sourceRectHint for entering and exiting PiP mode
  • Disabling resizing for non-video content

Make transitions to PiP mode smoother from gesture navigation

Starting in Android 12, the setAutoEnterEnabled flag provides much smoother animation for transitioning to video content in PiP mode using gesture navigation—for example, when swiping up to home from fullscreen.

Follow these steps to make this change:

  1. Use setAutoEnterEnabled to construct PictureInPictureParams.Builder:

    Kotlin

    setPictureInPictureParams(PictureInPictureParams.Builder()
    .setAspectRatio(aspectRatio)
    .setSourceRectHint(sourceRectHint)
    .setAutoEnterEnabled(true)
    .build())
    

    Java

    setPictureInPictureParams(new PictureInPictureParams.Builder()
    .setAspectRatio(aspectRatio)
    .setSourceRectHint(sourceRectHint)
    .setAutoEnterEnabled(true)
    .build());
    
  2. Call setPictureInPictureParams with the up-to-date PictureInPictureParams early. The app doesn't wait for the onUserLeaveHint callback (as it would have done in Android 11).

    For example, you may want to call setPictureInPictureParams on the very first playback and any following playback if the aspect ratio is changed.

  3. Call setAutoEnterEnabled(false), but only as it's necessary. For example, you probably don't want to enter PiP if the current playback is in a paused state.

Set a proper sourceRectHint for entering and exiting PiP mode

Starting with the introduction of PiP in Android 8.0, setSourceRectHint indicated the area of the activity that is visible following the transition into picture-in-picture—for example, the video view bounds in a video player.

With Android 12, the system uses sourceRectHint to implement a much smoother animation both when entering and exiting PiP mode.

To properly set sourceRectHint for entering and exiting PiP mode:

  1. Construct PictureInPictureParams using the proper bounds as sourceRectHint. We recommend also attaching a layout change listener to the video player:

    Kotlin

    val mOnLayoutChangeListener =
    OnLayoutChangeListener { v: View?, oldLeft: Int,
            oldTop: Int, oldRight: Int, oldBottom: Int, newLeft: Int, newTop:
            Int, newRight: Int, newBottom: Int ->
    val sourceRectHint = Rect()
    mYourVideoView.getGlobalVisibleRect(sourceRectHint)
    val builder = PictureInPictureParams.Builder()
    .setSourceRectHint(sourceRectHint)
    setPictureInPictureParams(builder.build())
    }
    

    Java

    private final View.OnLayoutChangeListener mOnLayoutChangeListener =
            (v, oldLeft, oldTop, oldRight, oldBottom, newLeft, newTop, newRight,
            newBottom) -> {
    final Rect sourceRectHint = new Rect();
    mYourVideoView.getGlobalVisibleRect(sourceRectHint);
    final PictureInPictureParams.Builder builder = new PictureInPictureParams.Builder()
    .setSourceRectHint(sourceRectHint);
    setPictureInPictureParams(builder.build());
    };
    
    mYourVideoView.addOnLayoutChangeListener(mOnLayoutChangeListener);
    
  2. If necessary, update the sourceRectHint before the system starts the exit transition. When the system is about to exit PiP mode, the activity’s view hierarchy is laid out to its destination configuration (for example, full screen). The app can attach a layout change listener to its root view or target view (such as the video player view) to detect the event and update the sourceRectHint before the animation begins.

    Kotlin

    // Listener is called immediately after the user exits PiP but before animating.
    playerView.addOnLayoutChangeListener { _, left, top, right, bottom,
                        oldLeft, oldTop, oldRight, oldBottom ->
    if (left != oldLeft || right != oldRight || top != oldTop
                || bottom != oldBottom) {
    // The playerView's bounds changed, update the source hint rect to
    // reflect its new bounds.
    val sourceRectHint = Rect()
    playerView.getGlobalVisibleRect(sourceRectHint)
    setPictureInPictureParams(
            PictureInPictureParams.Builder()
                .setSourceRectHint(sourceRectHint)
                .build()
            )
    }
    }
    
    

    Java

    // Listener is called right after the user exits PiP but before
    // animating.
    playerView.addOnLayoutChangeListener((v, left, top, right, bottom,
                        oldLeft, oldTop, oldRight, oldBottom) -> {
    if (left != oldLeft || right != oldRight || top != oldTop
                || bottom != oldBottom) {
    // The playerView's bounds changed, update the source hint rect to
    // reflect its new bounds.
    final Rect sourceRectHint = new Rect();
    playerView.getGlobalVisibleRect(sourceRectHint);
    setPictureInPictureParams(
                new PictureInPictureParams.Builder()
                .setSourceRectHint(sourceRectHint)
                .build());
    }
    });
    
    

Disable resizing for non-video content

Android 12 adds the setSeamlessResizeEnabled flag, which provides a much smoother cross-fading animation when resizing non-video content in the PiP window. Previously, resizing non-video content in a PiP window could create jarring visual artifacts.

To disable seamless resizing for non-video content:

Kotlin

setPictureInPictureParams(PictureInPictureParams.Builder()
  .setSeamlessResizeEnabled(false)
  .build())

Java

setPictureInPictureParams(new PictureInPictureParams.Builder()
  .setSeamlessResizeEnabled(false)
  .build());

Handle UI during PiP

When the activity enters or exits PiP mode, the system calls Activity.onPictureInPictureModeChanged() or Fragment.onPictureInPictureModeChanged().

You should override these callbacks to redraw the activity's UI elements. Keep in mind that in PiP mode your activity is shown in a small window. Users cannot interact with your app's UI elements when it's in PiP mode and the details of small UI elements may be difficult to see. Video playback activities with minimal UI provide the best user experience.

If your app needs to provide custom actions for PiP, see Add controls on this page. Remove other UI elements before your activity enters PiP and restore them when your activity becomes fullscreen again:

Kotlin

override fun onPictureInPictureModeChanged(isInPictureInPictureMode: Boolean,
                                           newConfig: Configuration) {
    if (isInPictureInPictureMode) {
        // Hide the full-screen UI (controls, etc.) while in PiP mode.
    } else {
        // Restore the full-screen UI.
    }
}

Java

@Override
public void onPictureInPictureModeChanged (boolean isInPictureInPictureMode, Configuration newConfig) {
    if (isInPictureInPictureMode) {
        // Hide the full-screen UI (controls, etc.) while in PiP mode.
    } else {
        // Restore the full-screen UI.
        ...
    }
}

Add controls

The PiP window can display controls when the user opens the window's menu (by tapping the window on a mobile device, or selecting the menu from the TV remote.)

If an app has an active media session, then play, pause, next, and previous controls will appear.

You can also specify custom actions explicitly by building PictureInPictureParams with PictureInPictureParams.Builder.setActions() before entering PiP mode, and pass the params when you enter PiP mode using enterPictureInPictureMode(android.app.PictureInPictureParams) or setPictureInPictureParams(android.app.PictureInPictureParams). Be careful. If you try to add more than getMaxNumPictureInPictureActions(), you'll only get the maximum number.

Continuing video playback while in PiP

When your activity switches to PiP, the system places the activity in the paused state and calls the activity's onPause() method. Video playback should not be paused and should continue playing if the activity is paused while in PiP mode.

In Android 7.0 and later, you should pause and resume video playback when the system calls your activity's onStop() and onStart(). By doing this, you can avoid having to check if your app is in PiP mode in onPause() and explicitly continuing playback.

If you haven't set the setAutoEnterEnabled flag to true and you need to pause playback in your onPause() implementation, check for PiP mode by calling isInPictureInPictureMode() and handle playback appropriately. For example:

Kotlin

override fun onPause() {
    super.onPause()
    // If called while in PiP mode, do not pause playback
    if (isInPictureInPictureMode) {
        // Continue playback
    } else {
        // Use existing playback logic for paused Activity behavior.
    }
}

Java

@Override
public void onPause() {
    // If called while in PiP mode, do not pause playback
    if (isInPictureInPictureMode()) {
        // Continue playback
        ...
    } else {
        // Use existing playback logic for paused Activity behavior.
        ...
    }
}

When your activity switches out of PiP mode back to full-screen mode, the system resumes your activity and calls your onResume() method.

Use a single playback activity for PiP

In your app, a user might select a new video when browsing for content on the main screen, while a video playback activity is in PiP mode. Play the new video in the existing playback activity in full screen mode, instead of launching a new activity that might confuse the user.

To ensure a single activity is used for video playback requests and switched into or out of PiP mode as needed, set the activity's android:launchMode to singleTask in your manifest:

<activity android:name="VideoActivity"
    ...
    android:supportsPictureInPicture="true"
    android:launchMode="singleTask"
    ...

In your activity, override onNewIntent() and handle the new video, stopping any existing video playback if needed.

Best practices

PiP might be disabled on devices that have low RAM. Before your app uses PiP, check to be sure it is available by calling hasSystemFeature(PackageManager.FEATURE_PICTURE_IN_PICTURE).

PiP is intended for activities that play full-screen video. When switching your activity into PiP mode, avoid showing anything except video content. Track when your activity enters PiP mode and hide UI elements, as described in Handling UI during PiP.

When an activity is in PiP mode, by default it doesn't get input focus. To receive input events while in PiP mode, use MediaSession.setCallback(). For more information on using setCallback() see Display a Now Playing card.

When your app is in PiP mode, video playback in the PiP window can cause audio interference with another app, such as a music player app or voice search app. To avoid this, request audio focus when you start playing the video, and handle audio focus change notifications, as described in Managing Audio Focus. If you receive notification of audio focus loss when in PiP mode, pause or stop video playback.

When your app is about to enter PiP, note only the top activity enters picture-in-picture. In some situations such as on multi-window devices, it is possible the activity below will now be shown and become visible again alongside the PiP activity. You should handle this case accordingly, including the activity below getting an onResume() or an onPause() callback. It is also possible that the user may interact with the activity. For example, if you have a video list activity displayed and the playing video activity in PiP mode, the user might select a new video from the list and the PiP activity should update accordingly.

Additional sample code

To download a sample app written in Android, see Picture-in-Picture Sample. To download a sample app written in Kotlin, see Android PictureInPicture Sample (Kotlin).