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How to use picture-in-picture on iPhone as a YouTube Premium subscriber

Android users have had this for free, since like forever.

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Image: KnowTechie

Apple added picture-in-picture (PiP) support for apps in iOS 14, but it still isn’t very widely used. That might change, as YouTube is rolling out PiP support to its iOS app.

The killer feature for any video app is to offer PiP playback while you do other tasks on your device. Android devices have had it as an option for what seems like forever, but iOS users only recently got the option.

There’s one big proviso to use PiP on YouTube on iOS – you have to be a Premium subscriber. It’s currently in beta for only YouTube Premium subscribers, and Google says it’s only going to be available until October 31.

How to use picture-in-picture on iPhone

Okay, before we start, you’ll need to be a YouTube Premium subscriber. Once you sign up, you get a month free trial before you’re charged anything, and it’s $11.99 a month after that if you live in the US.

  1. Go to YouTube.com/new and click on “Try it out” in the “Picture-in-picture on iOS” sectionscreenshot of youtube page showing picture in picture support for the youtube app on ios

  2. Now open the YouTube app on your iPhone device and start watching a video

  3. Swipe up or press the Home button to close the app. The video should stay in a mini player that will float over any other apps you open.

  4. While a video is floating in PiP mode, you’ll have the standard play/pause and rewind/forward controls, and a button to tap to return to the YouTube app. Pinching the floating window will enlarge or minimize it.

While Google says it only works on iOS, some people have it also working on their iPad. If it’s not showing up, try deleting the iPad app and reinstalling it.

Oh, and locking the screen while in PiP mode will pause the video. You can resume from the media controls on the lock screen though, so it’s only a temporary thing. Google has set an end to PiP mode for October 31, which seems fairly short-lived for a Premium feature.

Maybe that’s when it will become a free feature for everyone, as Google promised earlier this year.

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