In the coming few days, YouTube will finally give iPhone users the freedom to close the app and use other apps while videos continue to play in a small floating window pinned at the top.
Youtube has been testing this feature, dubbed Picture-in-Picture (PIP), on iPhones for several months now. Google first mentioned support for this feature in June last year. When it rolls out in the next few days, it will be available for all YouTube users in the US, including YouTube Premium subscribers and free-tier users. A global rollout is also possible since people outside the US have managed to get the feature working.
Presently, YouTube Premium subscribers have access to PIP on iPhone as an experimental feature. Google had to step in and clarify that the feature will not be restricted to paying subscribers when it rolls out eventually.
The timeline for the impending feature launch was revealed on Twitter when a YouTube user sought assistance from the company on the microblogging platform because the “experimental” PIP feature refused to work. YouTube responded by saying the feature will be available on iPhones running iOS 15 and newer versions “in a matter of days.”
PIP is a helpful feature that allows you to multitask and consume video passively. You can have any app open on your iPhone, such as Notes or Calendar, while the YouTube video plays in a floating window. Since the mini player is pinned at the top of all the applications, you could watch tutorial videos and follow them step-by-step to fix problems on your iPhone or personalize it.
Since official support for PIP on iPhone is right around the corner, please tell us how you plan to use it once it is widely available.
Update: YouTube Clarifies Its Comment
YouTube clarified that in its tweet that said the rollout should be expected “in a matter of days,” it was referring to YouTube TV and not YouTube. It said it would roll out PIP for the YouTube TV app on iOS 15 and newer versions in the coming days. As for PIP on the main YouTube app, the company said, “it’s only available to Premium members on Android mobile phones.”
Tell us about your experience so far if you have been using PIP as an experimental feature.