YouTube for iPhone, iPad rolling out Picture-in-Picture (PiP)

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Bhawani Singh
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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. 

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.

Google confirmed (h/t MacRumors) to us today that Picture-in-Picture is rolling out for all YouTube Premium members using the iOS app. This is occurring worldwide for those paid (starting at $11.99) customers.

Some users (as seen below) are already seeing the YouTube PiP on their iPhone and iPad. However, it is not yet widely rolled out, and we’ve yet to spot it on our devices.

Meanwhile, YouTube does “plan to launch PiP for all US iOS users as well.” Like on Android, this stateside availability for free users will see playback continue to show advertising, while Google tells us that this free PiP will not work for music content in the US. It’s unclear when this will become available.

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. 

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