YouTube finally brings picture-in-picture support for iPhone, iPad users
YouTube users on Android have long been enjoying some features that Apple users still haven't been able to take advantage of—at least not consistently. One such feature is the picture-in-picture (PiP) support. However, a YouTube spokesperson has now told The Verge that iOS and iPadOS users will be able to access the PiP video playback feature on the video platform soon. Here's more.
Free-tier YouTube users running Android can enjoy ad-supported PiP videos
Android devices have had picture-in-picture mode support for years now. Globally, the feature remains paywalled behind a YouTube Premium subscription, but in the US, ad-supported PiP playback is available for free-tier users. PiP essentially allows YouTube to display a mini-player on top of any other application that you are using. This allows you to use other apps while watching YouTube videos.
PiP feature rollout already underway for American YouTube Premium customers
Apple devices running iOS and iPadOS will be getting the PiP feature soon, at least in the US. The feature rollout is reportedly underway for YouTube Premium subscribers in the country. YouTube didn't confirm exactly when free-tier Apple users will be able to access the PiP feature. Interestingly, support for PiP video playback has been available on iOS and iPadOS for a while now.
PiP support for iPads, iPhones haven't been steady since launch
PiP was introduced on iPads with iOS 9 and for iPhone users with iOS 14. Although iPad has had PiP support for a while, the support has been inconsistent. Reports say only YouTube Premium subscribers were able to enjoy PiP while accessing YouTube via the Safari browser. However, late last year, PiP stopped working with YouTube's mobile website even on iPhones running iOS 14.
YouTube should eventually roll out PiP for Apple devices worldwide
If YouTube is rolling out stable PiP support for Apple smartphones and tablets in the US as it says, we believe the feature may eventually become available for Apple devices across the world. However, the company hasn't yet hinted at any such plans. Meanwhile, people using YouTube Premium on devices running iOS in the US should reportedly be able to access PiP very soon.
YouTube Vanced for Android features PiP even for free-tier users
Meanwhile, Android users who wouldn't mind using a third-party solution that brings all YouTube Premium subscription benefits (and then some) for free ought to try out YouTube Vanced. Separate standalone apps are available for rooted and non-rooted devices. YouTube Vanced offers ad-free videos, configurable volume and brightness swipe controls (like MX Player), background playback, auto-repeat, and PiP playback, all without a Premium subscription.