Netflix testing pop-out player for multitasking

Netflix remote control image
Netflix’s pop-out player tests are taking place at the same time Apple is testing a similar feature for its tvOS platform on Apple TV devices. (Pixabay/Creative Commons)

Netflix is testing a pop-out player so subscribers can watch content on the service while continuing to use other applications.

The feature lets users pop out a screen that floats on top of other windows and applications. Users can resize the player by clicking and dragging. Right now, the feature doesn’t support subtitles.

Netflix confirmed that the feature is being tested but the company’s official response (see screen-grab below) seems to suggest that Netflix isn’t ready just yet to roll out the feature to all users:

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Netflix’s pop-out player tests are taking place at the same time Apple is testing a similar feature for its tvOS platform on Apple TV devices.

TvOS 13 is currently being beta tested – the official launch should happen some time later this year. One of the features being tested is picture-in-picture playback, which 9 to 5 Mac pointed out is already available on iPads.

Users start in full screen and then they can minimize the video to allow it to continue playing while they use other apps. The thumbnail window includes controls for returning to full screen and ending playback.

While picture-in-picture or pop-out players are new features being tested for Apple and Netflix, the idea of picture-in-picture is certainly not new. Google offers support for picture-in-picture on its Android operating system and the feature has long been a part of consumer electronics, including television sets.