Google has started rolling out picture-in-picture support for the official YouTube iOS app for all iPhone and iPad users in the United States. After being available on Android for a while, YouTube finally added native picture-in-picture support to the iOS app for iPhone in June 2021. However, the feature was only available to those with a YouTube Premium subscription back then. YouTube promised to roll it out to all users in the U.S. in the future, but it has taken more than a year for it to be finally available for everyone in the country.
The iPad has offered picture-in-picture mode since iOS 9, letting users minimize a video into a floating overlay, enabling users to multitask with other apps while it plays. However, the feature remained MIA in iPhones for years. Apple finally introduced support for picture-in-picture for iPhones with iOS 14, but it was only available with select apps, such as Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, etc. While YouTube joined that list last year, this April, the company announced plans to roll it out to all iOS users in the U.S. “in a matter of days.”
YouTube has announced that it is now rolling out picture-in-picture support for all iOS users in the United States. The move would allow all iPhone and iPad users in the country to keep watching YouTube videos in a floating window even after closing the app. Once the user no longer wants to watch the video, the pop-up window can be closed by tapping on the small ‘X’ button at the top-left corner of the mini player. It is worth noting here that YouTube’s PiP mode is available to free users only in the United States, while it is still restricted to YouTube Premium subscribers globally. There’s no word about when that might change.
Announcing the launch of the PiP mode for all users in the U.S., YouTube acknowledged that it took its own sweet time to roll out the much-requested feature to free users in the country. In a support article on PiP, the company said, “We recognize this has been a slow roll out for a highly requested feature,” and thanked all users for patiently waiting for this for so long.
To use picture-in-picture in the YouTube iOS app, start watching any video on YouTube and then close the app by swiping upwards from the bottom of the screen. The video will continue to play in a tiny window, letting users browse other apps on the device simultaneously. The floating window can also be moved around and positioned anywhere on the screen according to the user’s choice. The YouTube PiP mode is available to all iPhone and iPad devices running at least iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 and higher.