YouTube Tests Native Picture-in-Picture Mode for iOS App

YouTube appears to be testing Picture in Picture (PiP) mode for its iOS app, reports 9to5Mac. The feature allows users to watch YouTube videos while using other apps, and was discovered by developer Daniel Yount, who stumbled across it while viewing a YouTube live stream on his iPad.


Yount wasn't able to get PiP to work in YouTube during any other playback scenarios, suggesting the feature is still in the experimentation stage.

The YouTube app has never supported PiP, a feature that has been available to ‌iPad‌ users since iOS 9. Apple is also bringing PiP to iPhone with iOS 14, due to release this fall.

Developer Steve Troughton-Smith speculates that the feature's introduction is part of a deal between Google and Apple that brings support for YouTube's VP9 codec to tvOS 14 and ‌iOS 14‌, allowing 4K YouTube content to be watched on those platforms. In any case, it's not clear that PiP will be available to all users when the YouTube feature launches.

Officially, YouTube only allows users to playback videos in the background if they subscribe to YouTube Premium, which means PiP may be restricted to paying users. YouTube Premium costs $11.99 ($15.99 through the YouTube app for iOS due to Apple's in-app purchase fees).

However, ‌iOS 14‌ users can still watch YouTube videos in Picture in Picture Mode through Safari. Read our step-by-step guide to learn how.

Tag: YouTube

Top Rated Comments

Username32123 Avatar
21 weeks ago
The reason they’ve never implemented this on their iOS/iPadOS apps is because they are unable to activate the feature exclusively for Premium users. Because it’s an Apple API feature not a YouTube built one, they have to add it into their app for everyone or no one at all. And so giving this to everyone would make premium users feel disadvantaged. And also confuse normal users who could PiP their videos but still not turn to screen off without stopping the video

so yeah the implementation of this feature is way overdue but not due to lack of ability to code it in, rather the decision of whether to add it in everyone or no one. The battle continues
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
anthorumor Avatar
21 weeks ago
I deleted the YouTube app on my iPad and just trained myself to open Safari everytime I wanted to YouTube something. It’s pretty good to go PiP. Note, I have Premium (which PiP works natively on my Samsung Galaxy Note), so unsure if this method works with ad-supported version on iPad through Safari.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jprmercado Avatar
21 weeks ago


The reason they’ve never implemented this on their iOS/iPadOS apps is because they are unable to activate the feature exclusively for Premium users. Because it’s an Apple API feature not a YouTube built one, they have to add it into their app for everyone or no one at all. And so giving this to everyone would make premium users feel disadvantaged. And also confuse normal users who could PiP their videos but still not turn to screen off without stopping the video

so yeah the implementation of this feature is way overdue but not due to lack of ability to code it in, rather the decision of whether to add it in everyone or no one. The battle continues

I’m on YouTube Premium, and I wouldn’t mind if they enabled PiP for all users, whether they’re on Premium or not. I’m all for an improved user experience for everyone, which comes at no cost to me.

I guess I’m OK with this because my main reason for subscribing to Premium is to get rid of the ads, and background playing is just a bonus to me. I can imagine it’d be different for people who subscribed to Premium primarily for background playing.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ghost31 Avatar
21 weeks ago


While Pip is nice I don't see a the point on such small screens.

To play the audio of a video while you’re doing other crap
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Theyayarealivin Avatar
21 weeks ago
That’s a good feature
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tubomac Avatar
21 weeks ago


While Pip is nice I don't see a the point on such small screens.

It's just nice to have it.
I seldom use it but sometimes I have to check a message or something and I'm happy to continue to listen while I read a short text.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 44 Feature

Top Stories: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming

Saturday January 23, 2021 6:00 am PST by
We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned. This week also saw rumors about the...
magsafecasedangle

Apple Elaborates on Potential for iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories to Interfere With Implantable Medical Devices

Saturday January 23, 2021 2:42 pm PST by
Since the launch of iPhone 12 models in October, Apple has acknowledged that the devices may cause electromagnetic interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, but the company has now shared additional information. Apple added the following paragraph to a related support document today:Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Bloomberg: Next MacBook Pro to Feature SD Card Reader

Friday January 22, 2021 7:50 am PST by
Last week, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlined his expectations for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, including the return of the MagSafe charging connector, the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, and the return of more ports built into the notebooks for expanded connectivity. A concept of a modern MacBook Pro with an SD card reader Kuo did not...
airpods galaxy buds comparison

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs. Apple AirPods Pro

Friday January 22, 2021 2:34 pm PST by
Samsung in January unveiled new flagship Galaxy S21 smartphones and alongside the new phones, introduced the $200 Galaxy Buds Pro, which are priced at $199 and offer Active Noise Cancellation. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. These new Galaxy Buds Pro are clearly designed to compete with Apple's AirPods Pro, so we thought we'd compare the two sets of earbuds in our...
maxresdefault

Microsoft Touts Surface Pro 7 as 'The Better Choice' Over MacBook Pro in New Ad

Saturday January 23, 2021 11:02 am PST by
Microsoft yesterday shared a new ad on YouTube titled "Microsoft Surface Pro 7: The Better Choice," in which the company compares its tablet computer to Apple's 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro, as spotted by MSPoweruser. The ad highlights the Surface Pro 7's touchscreen and included stylus as opposed to only a "little bar" (the Touch Bar) on the MacBook Pro. Other advantages of the Surface Pro 7...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...