New browser brings picture-in-picture to Mac [Reviews]

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fluid-header - 2
Fluid Browser comes in handy for graphic design. And workplace distraction.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

With iOS 9, Apple introduced a whole slew of multitasking features including picture-in-picture, so I can watch a video while using another app. Even though this was technically already possible on the Mac, there hasn’t been an easy way to get a video to overlay another window so I can focus on both at the same time. Well the new Fluid Browser solves that problem, quite magnificently I might add.

Fluid is its own web browser, but it’s not meant to replace Safari or Chrome for my main usage. Instead, I open up Fluid and go to a website where I want to play video, like YouTube or Netflix. The video itself will enlarge to fit the width of the browser window. Then magically, if I click somewhere else on my desktop, Fluid will float above the other windows and even has adjustable opacity so I can make the video as prominent on screen as I want.

How to use Picture in Picture mode to watch YouTube on iPad

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YouTube videos come to Picture in Picture mode on iOS 9, thanks to Corner Tube.
YouTube videos come to Picture in Picture mode on iOS 9, thanks to Corner Tube.
Photo: App Advice

Picture in Picture mode is one of the best features of iOS 9. On iPads, it lets you continue to watch a video from one app (say, Netflix) in the corner of your screen, even while you’re browsing a webpage, reading your email, and so on.

A lot of cool video apps already support Picture in Picture mode, but curiously, Google’s YouTube app isn’t one of them. But if you want to watch YouTube in PiP mode, there’s another app you can try.

Pro Tip: How to watch video while checking email on iPad

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There goes my productivity. Thanks, Apple!
There goes my productivity. Thanks, Apple!
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugSo you’re watching a TV show or movie on your iPad and you hear the ding that means you just got a new email. You could double press on the Home button to bring up the multitasking bar and swipe over to your Mail app, but why?

One of the cool gosh-wow things of iOS 9 on a newer iPad is the picture-in-picture multitasking feature, which means you can switch over to any app while you continue watching that video.

Here’s how.

HBO Go just got even more distracting

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HBO Go Band of Brothers
You'll hit Play on Normandy in Band of Brothers, and the next thing you know, they'll be in Berlin.
Photo: HBO

An update to HBO Go is a direct assault on your productivity.

The streaming service just added two new features that are sure to send you spiraling into a “just one more” death spin. The new features are Picture-in-Picture (for compatible devices running iOS 9) and autoplay, which is how you sit down to watch a single episode and then look up later to discover the sun has come up, and now you have to go to work.

How to get iOS 9’s “picture in picture” video mode on your Mac

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Just like your iPad, your Mac can do picture in picture mode, thanks to Helium.
Just like your iPad, your Mac can do picture in picture mode, thanks to Helium.
Photo: Helium

One of my favorite things about iOS 9 is picture in picture mode, which keeps a small window of a movie visible on screen at all times. Unfortunately, OS X El Capitan doesn’t have an equivalent: you can watch a movie while multitasking, sure, but it doesn’t stay on top of your window stack no matter what, which is the genius of iOS 9’s interpretation.

I’m hoping OS X 10.12 will address this issue. In the meantime, though, there’s an app that will give OS X iOS 9-style picture in picture mode. And it’s free!