Google Chrome for Android is reportedly working on an interesting feature that allows users to minimize a custom tab in picture-in-picture (PiP) mode. The Chrome Custom Tab is a feature extended by the browser for third-party app developers who want to create an in-app web browsing experience through the Chrome browser. This new update will allow users to browse pages without worrying about losing the desired web page. Google also recently announced new generative artificial intelligence (AI) features for the Chrome browser for Windows and Mac computers.

Spotted from 9to5Google, the undertesting feature is only available for Chrome custom tabs. For the uninitiated, these are the web pages that open when a person clicks on a link in apps like Gmail. Opening such a URL reportedly displays a down arrow next to the back icon. Tapping the arrow minimizes the window in the PiP interface. The PiP window displays information such as website icons, the name of the site or page, and the domain. The feature was spotted in Chrome 122, which is a stable version, but according to the report, it was only rolled out to a small group of users.

According to the screenshots shared, the content of the page cannot be seen while the tab is minimized. It is not known whether opening a video streaming site like YouTube and playing a video will show the video in PiP mode or not.

The report also highlights that the PiP window can be resized to become larger and move around the screen, although it can only be docked from the left or right edge. To return to the page, users can tap the window and click the full screen icon placed in the middle, and to close it, sliding it down or tapping the “x” icon will do the trick. Only one tab can be supported in PiP mode at a time, according to the report.

This could be a useful feature for Chrome custom tabs, as they currently lack the option to open multiple tabs. Users can navigate to other pages through internal links, but to return to the original page, they will have to navigate backwards through all web pages. The process can be annoying and deter users from exploring other pages even if they want to.

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