One of my biggest gripes with Apple TV 4 is that you cannot watch a video while browsing your library or simply using any other application.
For a ‘smart’ HDMI streaming box, this seems like a must-have feature to me, which is for some bizarre reason is missing from Apple TV 4, especially once you consider the fact that Apple introduced a similar functionality to the iPad with iOS 9 called Picture-in-Picture.
Now, since tvOS — the OS that Apple TV 4 runs on — is based on iOS itself, it should not come as a surprise that under the hood, they share the same set of code and Apple has only disabled or modified the relevant parts for tvOS.
Just to try his luck, developer @stroughtonsmith modified one of his apps for Apple TV 4 to use the Picture-in-Picture functionality, which to his surprise worked like a charm on the HDMI media streaming box.
Looking at the video above, it is surprising to see how well the feature works and makes one wonder why Apple did not already include it on Apple TV 4.
The A8 chip inside the Apple TV 4 is plenty powerful to support Picture-in-Picture so it is unclear why Apple decided against bundling this feature in tvOS.
Nonetheless, one can at least hope that Apple rolls out Picture-in-Picture functionality to the Apple TV 4 with one of its future OS updates.