The growth of online video streaming services means that services like Plex might not be as popular as they once were but the cost involved means that a central hub for all of your downloaded video is still a neat and tidy one.

A series of updates from Plex for Android are now out of beta (via Droid Life) bringing a host of performance updates and even a few new features. The biggest of these changes is the brand new video UI, which mimics that of the music player.

There is also some love for Picture-in-Picture mode, allowing you to minimize your currently playing media without closing it entirely. This is an especially important change for those that still want the ability to reply to texts, surf the web and whatnot without stopping their movie or TV show.

For those of you running Android Q beta builds, there is now even support for the audio scrubber within the notification shade. Elsewhere there are some new viewing modes, neater chapter skipping, and video pre-loading.

What’s updated

  • Updated UI – Experience video with the same elegant user interface as music
  • Picture-in-Picture – Press the home button during video playback to enter PIP mode. Enjoy other apps or browse through your Plex library while continuing to watch videos
  • Better Seeking – Scrub along the seekbar by dragging to see a thumbnail preview (note this requires that previews be enabled in your Plex Media Server) OR double tap the left or right side of the video to seek backwards or forwards quickly
  • New Viewing Modes – Change the display mode to fill, stretch and show the video at original size (under Playback Settings > Display Mode). Watch videos with your phone in portrait, landscape-lock can be used to keep landscape only mode (under Playback Settings > Lock to Landscape)
  • Chapters – Jump ahead or skip back to your favorite chapter without digging. around for the right spot
  • Preload Next Videos – When the countdown takes place on the post-play, the next video in your play-queue begins to buffer for an instant start

The update is rolling out in stages, which means you may have to wait a few days to see the new features appearing on your device. To download Plex, head to the Google Play Store, it’s also available on the Amazon App Store — if that’s more your bag.

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