In October 2018, Google enabled support for Picture-in-Picture (PiP) inside the Chrome browser. This feature allowed websites to display a floating video popup outside the browser container and let users watch the content while using other applications.
PiP is useful and it does improve multitasking to some extent, but there hasn’t been any way to load non-video contents in the picture-in-picture container. It looks like Google is finally considering adding support for non-video contents to load inside the picture-in-picture mode’s mini window.
As per a post by Google, the engineers are considering adding “support for requesting a Picture-in-Picture window that can contain arbitrary HTML content instead of a video layer”. Interestingly, the content doesn’t have to be interactive to load inside the PiP container.
Google says that Picture-in-Picture functionality is currently limited to HTMLVideoElement only. The API finds the video layer and move it into a window that is adaptable, but web publishers have expressed interest for a more flexible API.
In the near future, Chromium-based web browsers should be able to load arbitrary HTML content instead of just videos. The Chrome Status page suggests that the updated PiP mode is in development and there is no release date at the moment.
“We are adding support for requesting a Picture-in-Picture window that can contain interactive arbitrary HTML content instead of a video layer,” explains another document from Google.