Getting started with iOS 9's picture-in-picture feature for iPad

Want to watch a video or FaceTime on your iPad and browse Facebook at the same time? With iOS 9, you can!

Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read

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Jason Cipriani/CNET

Apple is adding some much needed multitasking features to its iPad lineup with iOS 9. There's a new keyboard, the option to run apps in a split-screen setup, and a new picture-in-picture feature.

Picture-in-picture will allow users to watch a video or hold a FaceTime call, while at the same time using the iPad for other tasks. In other words, you no longer have to decide if browsing Twitter or watching a funny cat video is more important; on iOS 9 you can do both!

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

After updating to iOS 9, you'll notice a new icon in the bottom-right corner of a video. The icon is a small rectangle, with an arrow inside it pointing to a smaller rectangle. This icon is what you'll use to minimize a video.

Tapping on the icon will result in a fancy animation, along with the video popping out of its place. The most important thing to remember when using iOS 9's picture-in-picture feature is that you cannot close the Safari tab the video is streaming from. You can, however, go back to the home screen and launch other apps.

Using picture-in-picture with video that's streaming from an app like YouTube, instead of Safari, has been somewhat hit or miss during the public beta. We will update this post with more details once developers are able to add support for the new feature.

What if the icon isn't present? Try taking your video full-screen; after which the icon should show up.

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A CNET video playing while using the Twitterific app on an iPad Air 2. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

iOS 9 allows you to move the smaller video player between the corners of your screen, just as the FaceTime window has for some time now. Additionally, you can resize the video being played using a pinch-to-zoom gesture on the video itself. You can slide the video off screen, until just a sliver of the window is showing should you need the screen real estate or just want to listen to the audio.

At any time, you can tap on the video to display its various controls. You'll find a button to close the video, maximize it and a button to pause playback.