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YouTube blocks iOS 14 picture in picture – unless you pay

Is it worth paying into for picture in picture? We think so.

youtube logo on a phone sitting on a desk
Image: Unsplash

iOS 14 launched recently with a raft of impressive new features. Amongst these are the hugely popular picture in picture mode. This is where you can actively watch one app, for example, where you can stream video while using another at the same time.

Immediately, most Apple users would assume that they’d be able to bring YouTube into the picture. Quite literally! However, as it transpires, YouTube has imposed a block on this – unless you’re willing to pay the price.

So – what does this mean for YouTube app users on iOS? Can you play roulette online while watching videos on your Apple device? There are ways and means – so let’s take a look.

Watching YouTube While Playing Blackjack? It’s Possible

Now – this really isn’t to say you can’t play YouTube picture in picture at all. If you want to multitask while streaming your favorite videos, you absolutely can. However, if you wish to – for example –  play blackjack online while watching through the YouTube app, you will need to upgrade.

YouTube’s Premium service is a little controversial in that it arrived after years of free video content having been shared with millions. However, as the platform continued to expand, the need for monetization grew.

As such, to be able to access YouTube without ads and to access exclusive shows, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee. This also applies to app users who want to watch picture in picture. If you’re already a Premium user, then there won’t be a problem.

Naturally, there are going to be people out there who want to use this feature without paying a monthly fee. Therefore – there’s got to be a workaround, surely?

The Disappointing Truth

We’re not claiming YouTube Premium is a bad thing at all – far from it. However, it is disappointing that there’s currently no workaround with picture in picture.

Earlier in September, some eagle-eyed video streamers found that you could view YouTube through picture in picture via the Safari browser. This, and you wouldn’t need a premium account to do so. For a while, this seemed to be a viable way to use the service.

However, as of the time of writing, even this avenue is restricted. Some believe this may be a deliberate move on the part of Google, who owns YouTube, to press their Premium service on iOS users.

Indeed, it’s a bold move, and it’s likely to find subscribers this way. For many iOS users who were looking forward to getting into YouTube streaming through the new picture in picture system, however, it’s a pretty big disappointment.

To Pay or Not to Pay?

There are plenty of benefits to signing up for YouTube Premium. As mentioned, you can get rid of the annoying ads, and you can also keep playing music from the app while browsing others. It’s mostly features like this which have pushed viewers towards the Premium model in the first place.

However, rather shrewdly, Google has added another string to Premium’s bow. Is it worth paying into for picture in picture? We think so. Give it a look through a free trial first, and see how you get on. In the meantime, we’ll let you know if a workaround pops up that you can use.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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