Windows Insider Preview introduces picture-in-picture apps
Windows Insider Preview Build 15031 is here with some interesting new features. Chief among them is a feature that's been ripped right out of your TV: picture-in-picture for apps, which Microsoft is calling the "Compact Overlay" window.
The idea of a picture-in-picture mode for apps is such a seemingly obvious feature that you might wonder why it took so long to come to the PC. It's likely that widespread high-speed internet and the popularity of Netflix and YouTube have finally made the PC enough of a media-consumption staple to warrant the development of such a feature beyond simply splitting the screen or resizing a window.
The Compact Overlay window will allow you to watch a movie or video-conference while switching to another app. Compact Overlay works in a different way than the current split-screen system Windows 10 uses now. Currently, full-screen apps override the second panel, and you will have to devote the whole second panel to that app, losing either a large percentage of your screen's horizontal or vertical real estate. In contrast, Compact Overlay will allow an always-on-top window to float over any app.
Don't expect this feature to work with every app, however. It's currently only possible with Universal Windows Apps (UWA), and they need to be programmed explicitly to support it. You can bet that the major content-consumption platforms will probably start incorporating the feature soon.
There are a lot of other cool features introduced in the Preview Build, as well. You can check them out in the full blog post here.