Following a trial run with Premium subscribers last June, YouTube is set to launch picture-in-picture support for all iOS users ‘in a matter of days.’ Since it was added to the iPhone with iOS 14, picture-in-picture has become one of iOS’s most useful features. Watching a Twitch stream or a movie and want to do something else on your phone? Just swipe up to go home, open whatever other app you need to use, and your video keeps playing in a floating window on your screen.
As great as picture-in-picture is, it’s only useful if app developers actually support the feature. Almost two years since its release, PiP is found in many iOS apps. All official Apple apps work with picture-in-picture — including Safari, FaceTime, and Apple TV. There are also a bunch of third-party apps that work great with picture-in-picture. From Netflix, Disney+, ESPN, Hulu, Twitch, and others, most major video apps work with picture-in-picture exactly how you’d expect.
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One app that’s been noticeably absent from that list is YouTube. YouTube began testing picture-in-picture with its iOS app back in June 2021, but only for those subscribed to the YouTube Premium subscription. Now, it looks like YouTube’s almost ready to roll out picture-in-picture to all iOS users — regardless of whether they have YouTube Premium.
YouTube PiP Should Be Available Any Day Now
On April 10, Twitter user @LordRathore Tweeted the following to the YouTube Twitter account: “I was using experimental Youtube Picture in Picture but i got notification that its no more an experimental feature. Assuming that its now a default feature.” A little over an hour later, the Team YouTube account replied: “Are you using an iOS smartphone? If so, the Picture-in-Picture feature is still rolling out & will be available in a matter of days across all iOS 15+ devices.”
YouTube’s hinted at releasing picture-in-picture to all iOS users for a while now, but the feature’s availability has always been uncertain. YouTube was supposed to end its Premium-only test on October 31, 2021, but later extended the trial to April 8, 2022. Given that new end date and YouTube now confirming picture-in-picture will be available ‘in a matter of days,’ it looks like all of that waiting is finally coming to an end.
When picture-in-picture finally comes to all iOS users, it should work with YouTube as it does in any other app. You’ll be able to play a video, go back to your home screen, and have the video keep playing in a small window. You can then move the video player, resize it, and even hide it off-screen so you can still listen to the audio without watching the video. It’s annoying that it’s taken YouTube so long to get to this point, but it’s certainly better late than never.