Chrome is getting this excellent new video calling feature

Google Chrome picture in picture
(Image credit: Google)

Google is adding video conferencing picture-in-picture controls to Chrome, allowing users to make video calls while remaining in the browser.  The new feature will let you take video calls and watch videos in picture-in-picture without having to open new tabs. It's a cool way to streamline things for users by allowing them to remain in one tab and remain focused on what's in front of them. 

Google will add the new tools in an upcoming update to Chrome. Due to the pandemic, more people are working remotely. Having the ability to multitask and add new video conferencing capabilities makes the experience more seamless and allows users to stay focused on tasks eliminating the need to bounce around between tabs to look at videos or videos calls. 

There are currently some crude picture-in-picture controls that allow mostly for the ability to control videos you choose to pop out, such as a YouTube video and switch back and forth between P.I.P. mode and back to viewing in a tab in Chrome. However,  documents seen by show Google is going to use Media Session API to bring new tools to video chats and several other improvements such as muting audio, disabling webcams, and ending calls. These tools will be a huge help to users who are handling multiple tasks and taking conference calls. 

Google engineer Tommy Steimel Said, " We want to make picture-in-picture (PIP) more useful on video conferencing platforms by enabling the user to mute/unmute their microphone, enable/disable their camera, or hang up the call from the PIP window." and closed out saying " To accomplish this, we'll add new actions for these to the MediaSession API and let websites declare handlers for those actions."

The new tools are not currently unavailable to most, and with some showing up in preview builds, the new functions seem to be in the early stages of development. 

Mark Anthony Ramirez

Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.