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

InGen Avatar
12 months 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
12 months 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
12 months 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
12 months 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)
TheYayAreaLiving Avatar
12 months ago
That’s a good feature
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tubomac Avatar
12 months 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

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...
nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
Apple Leak Feature

Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Wednesday July 28, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice. A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:You have disclosed without ...
apple rtp land

Apple Preparing to Occupy 200,000 Square Feet of Temporary Space Ahead of New $1 Billion North Carolina Campus

Thursday July 29, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Back in April, Apple announced a $430 billion investment over the next five years to create more than 20,000 new jobs as the company continues to expand. One significant piece of that plan is a new engineering and research center in North Carolina where Apple will be investing over $1 billion and hiring at least 3,000 employees. Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by ...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...