YouTube for iOS finally gets Picture-in-Picture, only for premium users now

YouTube says it will finally introduce picture-in-picture support on iOS and iPadOS soon, but only in the US.

Story highlights
  • YouTube is launching a new Picture-in-Picture feature for iOS.
  • Picture-in-Picture allows watching videos while using other apps.
  • The Picture in Picture has been available on Android for a while.

YouTube, the most popular video platform in order to provide its users with a better experience, has worked hard to bring new features on both Android and iOS. However, YouTube had introduced a picture-in-picture (PiP) feature on Android a long time ago.

The company told MacRumors that it is "starting to roll out PiP for YouTube Premium members on iOS and plan[s] to launch PiP for all US iOS users as well." It did not say when or even if PiP support is expected to reach YouTube users outside the US, but presumably, it will expand to other markets eventually.

Though Apple had started supporting Picture in Picture, YouTube never launched this feature of theirs on Apple. For a while, it was possible to watch videos from the platform in PiP via its mobile website, but that feature was restricted to YouTube Premium subscribers in September 2020.

The report also states that the feature is rolling out to YouTube Premium subscribers on iOS users in the US first. Even non-paying YouTube users will be able to take advantage of the picture-in-picture feature.

This is a familiar pattern for the platform. Playing audio in the background is limited to YouTube Premium subscribers, for example, even though the feature is built into iOS.

On Android, YouTube Picture-in-Picture has been available for a long time, however only for YouTube premium customers.

What is Picture In Picture mode?

The Picture in Picture mode is not something uniquely new feature. In a PiP mode, you can minimize the running video in a small pop-up window and drag the pop-up anywhere on the home screen. This means you easily work or use other apps while continuing your favourite YouTube video. The PiP feature was already working for Android users for quite some time, although for premium users. To avail of the PiP feature, you can simply play the video on the YouTube app, and then simply press the home button. The video will get compressed into PiP mode, and you can easily drag it anywhere on the screen.

Apple had recently launched FaceTime and watching a video feature. However, support for the feature was only available when using FaceTime or watching a video. So, YouTube is introducing picture-in-picture (PiP) support on iOS and iPadOS first.