With iOS 14 last year, Apple introduced Picture-in-Picture to let you watch video in a floating window while using other tasks. The YouTube app is finally adding support for PiP on iPhone and iPad.
The picture-in-picture mode is already available for Android, but it is coming soon for iPhone and iPad users who have a YouTube subscription.
Picture-in-Picture (PiP) allows users to watch YouTube videos in a small mini player while simultaneously browsing outside of the YouTube app on their mobile device. We’re starting to roll out PiP for YouTube Premium members on iOS and plan to launch PiP for all US iOS users as well.
Apple added support for picture-in-picture video for iPads with iOS 9, and brought it to iPhones with iOS 14. Since then, YouTube’s support for the feature on iPhones and iPads has been spotty — it works for iPad if you’re using Safari (though some have reported it doesn’t work for non-Premium subscribers); iPhone users have only been able to access the feature periodically.
However, it is not yet widely rolled out, and we’ve yet to spot it on our devices.
To use, play a video inside the YouTube app and swipe up on the screen to return home. You’ll get a tiny window in the top-right corner with overlaid play/pause and rewind/forward controls. Currently, Premium members continue to hear audio playing in the background upon exit. There’s also a standard shortcut to return to the full app and close, while you can pinch to enlarge/minimize.
Picture-in-Picture is very useful on large screens, like tablets, and allows for great multitasking in the case of note-taking.