It’s always important to upgrade WhatsApp for Android to the latest version because you not only get the latest fixes to bugs and errors, but also the latest and hottest features the app has to offer.
If you doubt this, simply try and upgrade WhatsApp for Android on your device right now and see the magic that the new update comes with. As it stands, those using the Facebook-owned app on the newest Android O can already enjoy the new picture-in-picture mode, but as you know, this OS is still in beta.
Besides being available in beta, Android O is also limited to a handful of devices that include Google Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Pixel and Pixel XL. In addition to this, the new picture-in-picture feature is still limited to the beta version of the chat app.
If you are okay with using beta versions, all you need is to upgrade WhatsApp for Android to version 2.17.265 and you will be able to start using the new feature. Once you are on the new version, it’s possible to make picture-in-picture video calls, but this is not possible for those using Android Nougat and below.
With the picture-in-picture feature, it means WhatsApp for Android users can now continue with a video call in a minimized window while at the same time text or use the app to do other usual stuff. All this happens automatically. Simply start a video call and tap back to shrink down the video to a floating window where you can still see the person on the other end of the call while replying to a message from another chat thread. Cool huh!
It gets even better as you can also move the floating window around, but you can only have it on either of the screen’s edges. Tapping on it will enlarge it momentarily, but it then shrinks back to the normal size. Swiping it down will dismiss it, but it won’t end the call, instead, the video is paused and the audio goes on, similar to what happens on other versions of Android.
One thing you need to know is even if you upgrade WhatsApp for Android to the latest version 2.17.265 beta, you probably won’t be able to get the support for picture-in-picture feature. This is true because the feature is part of Android O, which means it can only work on this OS and not older versions.
WhatsApp for Android now joins the likes of Google Chrome, Duo, Play Movies and a host of other apps that are adding the support for picture-in-picture feature to Android O. To enjoy this new feature, you need to be using Android O developer preview as well as the latest beta version of WhatsApp, which can be downloaded via the APK Mirror, unless you are already part of the app’s beta program via the Google Play Store.