Apple TV app could soon get 4-way picture-in-picture mode

Mike Wheatley

The Apple TV app may be on the verge of adding support for a four-way picture-in-picture mode, with extensive code references to such a feature found in the latest version of its software.


The code was found by developers working with the latest Apple TV 16.5 beta software. The so-called Multi-View, or Picture-in-Picture mode, makes it possible to watch up to four simultaneous live streams on a single TV screen. Essentially, it just splits the TV into four separate segments, as seen above, each of which can show a different piece of content.

It appears to be an extension of the PiP feature that’s already supported by Apple TV, but it seems to be intended specifically for the Apple TV app. The most likely intention is that it’s being introduced for live sports fans, according to developer Steve Moser, whose discoveries were annonced on Twitter and first reported by 9to5Mac, which created the above image to illusrate how it might look.

That makes sense because Apple possesses global rights to live stream Major League Soccer and also has the rights to Major League Baseball in 60 countries. Games can be watched via the Apple TV app, which also supports live streams from partners.

A number of tvOS apps already take advantage of tvOS’s PiP support, including ESPN and Fubo.

It’s not clear when the feature would be rolled out, however. As 9to5Mac points out, references to a “Multi-View” feature have been found in the iOS codebase before, but they are much more extensive in version 16.5. That’s not to say PiP will definitely arrive in tvOS 16.5 though. Apple may instead save it for tvOS 17, which is expected to be announced this summer at WWDC 17, or it could even be saved for another, later release.