iPad-wielding Netflix bingers can rejoice as they wave goodbye to productivity. While iOS 10 is all the rage for Apple users right now, Netflix is finally taking advantage of a feature introduced in iOS 9, which might swipe away a few hours from your day, depending on your streaming TV addiction level.
Apple’s mobile operating system added picture-in-picture support for videos when it was released last year, but only with videos playing through Safari and supporting apps including Hulu, Facetime, BBC’s iPlayer, and WatchESPN. Last week, Netflix finally hopped on board and updated its app with the feature built in.
The Netflix version you’ll want is 8.7.0, and the picture-in-picture feature is compatible only with iPads (Pro, Air or later, or iPad mini 2 or later) running iOS 9.3.2 and later, according to the app’s iTunes page. The iOS 10 developer beta build is not supported as of yet.
The new feature will let users tap a button while watching a movie or show, which will shrink to a thumbnail. Thus, users can multitask, check email, or browse the web, all while indulging in their favorite Netflix hits.
The shrunken video thumbnail is also draggable and can be resized via pinch gesture, allowing for added functionality and a more custom experience. To return to the full picture view, simply tap the video again.
While Netflix is late to the game here, its millions of users will certainly appreciate the new enhancements catering to their multitasking needs.
And as TechCrunch has pointed out, the app’s usage will most likely see a boost with the new feature. After MLB At Bat added support for picture-in-picture on the iPad, it saw an 86 percent increase in live video viewing over the course of a year.
It remains to be seen whether Netflix can sustain similar success, but the odds are in its favor.