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Skype Preview for Insiders updated with ‘Compact Overlay’ support

Microsoft pushed out Build 15031 to Windows Insiders on the Fast Ring just about four weeks back. It wasn’t a particularly feature-rich update, but there was one part of the update that stood out: the Compact Overlay.

Compact Overlay, of course, continues Microsoft’s terrible tradition of naming simple features something silly. It’s a Picture-in-Picture mode that works with UWP apps that add support for it.

Image Credit: Thurott.com

Always on Top

We talked about Compact Overlay in detail when Build 15031 was released to the Insiders – you can read that here. The Picture-in-Picture feature attempts to bring back some resemblance of what was already quite possible with the standard Win32 applications on Windows.

A standard Win32 application can choose to be Always on Top – with or without user consent – but that doesn’t work with UWP. UWP is all about giving control to the user, and thus limits this ability.

Compact Overlay is an alternative – it’s similar, but somewhat improved. The idea is to allow UWP apps to be always on top in a small Windows, resembling the Picture-in-Picture mode present in most modern televisions.

Since the app must explicitly support this feature, the developer must also design an interface for the Compact Overlay. So, the Films & TV app on Windows 10, for example, shows the play/pause/seek controls.

Skype Preview

Today’s update for Skype Preview adds the Compact Overlay support. It’s now possible to use Skype in this fancy Picture-in-Picture mode.

The feature works exactly as expected. It’s possible to start a video call and put the Skype Preview app in the Compact Overlay mode. The video stays up in a corner while the user can use the PC for something else.

Skype also shows a few controls and details in the Compact Overlay mode, such as the hang-up and mute buttons.

Availability

Whilst the Skype Preview app is available to all Windows 10 users; the Compact Overlay feature is only available to Windows 10 Insiders. Therefore, only the Insiders have access to this Skype update.

If you wish to take Compact Overlay out for a spin, you will need to be on Windows 10 Build 15031 or newer.

If you would rather stick to the production Windows 10 build; the Skype Preview update and Compact Overlay will roll out as part of the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update.

Wait, is all one can do.

About Vishal Laul

Vishal has been covering Tech News and updates from last 5 years. He keeps himself updated with the latest happenings in the Tech world and report them in an easy to understand format for the readers. He likes to watch a few shows and play a few games. He is also a massive Doctor Who fanboy. You can contact him and share your thoughts about anything through vishal.laul[at]gmail.com and catch him on twitter: @vishal1082

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