Back in June, Google started rolling out Picture-in-Picture support in YouTube for iPhone. It’s not widely available yet, but YouTube Premium subscribers can experimentally enable it today.
One perk of being a Premium subscriber is the ability to “try experimental new features.” YouTube.com/new shows what’s available with test capabilities featuring an end date and button to manually enable. Tapping “Try it out” next to “Picture-in-picture on iOS” will turn it on. One important caveat is that this test currently only works on the iPhone and not the YouTube iPad app — where it would be most useful.
With Picture-in-picture (PiP), watch YouTube videos in a mini player while using other apps.
How to use: While you are watching a video, swipe up (or press home) to close the app and watch in a mini player.
Afterwards, swiping up or pressing home after starting a video in the YouTube mobile app will generate a PiP with standard play/pause and rewind/forward controls. There’s a shortcut to return to the application and close, while pinching enlarges/minimizes.
How to enable YouTube Picture-in-Picture on iPhone
- Visit YouTube.com/new while signed in to your Google Account
Make sure you’re a YouTube Premium subscriber (not just Music Premium)
- Find “Picture-in-picture on iOS”
It’s the second experiment on the page after “Translate comments”
- Click “Try it out”
- Start a video on YouTube for iPhone app
iPad does not support PiP right now
- Start Picture-in-Picture by close the app (Swipe up or home button)
Video will continue playing
Google notes how “locking the screen while watching in PiP will pause the video,” but you can resume from lockscreen media controls. The company also says it’s “working on improving these, so stay tuned.”
There’s an October 31 end date to this test. That could indicate when YouTube plans to widely launch Picture-in-Picture for iPhone and iPad. In June, Google started rolling out the capability worldwide for paid users. It’s also bringing PiP to free users in the US with ads.
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