Skype for Android tablets shrinks the video window, runs on top of other apps

Skype has added picture-in-picture mode to its Android tablet app. That means you can start a video call, shrink the video window and keep an eye on it even while you’re running other apps.

You can surf the web, check a calendar appointment, or even play a game without exiting your video call.

Skype Picture in Picture

Skype 4.5 for Android also adds pinch-to-zoom navigation for your contact list, improved video instant messaging, and performance fixes, among other things.

While some Android devices (such as Samsung’s) already supported a sort of dual-window or picture-in-picture mode for select apps, Skype is the first video messaging app I’m aware of that brings the feature to just about any Android device.

You could already use Skype in multi-window mode on a Windows tablet using the Snap View feature in Windows 8, and Skype says the new Android app brings a bit of the same type of functionality to Windows.

The difference is that Skype for Windows runs side-by-side with other apps without covering them up, while the Android version will partially obscure any full-screen app it’s running on top of.