Google has announced that YouTube’s picture-in-picture mode for iOS and iPadOS, which lets you watch videos in a floating window while using other apps, is rolling out to more people. According to a community post Monday, people using iOS 15 should see the feature soon, although there’s some fragmentation in its availability.
YouTube Premium subscribers should be able to access the feature no matter where in the world they live – as long as it’s in an area where you can actually get YouTube Premium, of course – and they can use it to watch any type of content. For non-paying YouTube users, YouTube only mentions that picture-in-picture is available in the US. In the US, however, the company says “anyone who uses the YouTube app on iPhone and iPad” will get the feature, but that it can only be used for “non-music content”. If you use Android, you’ve probably had this feature for years, and YouTube says it’s not changing today.
It happens! ✨ Picture in Picture is slowly rolling out for YouTube on iPhone and iPad and will be available just like on Android for:
Premium members worldwide &
Non-Premium US Members (Non-Music Only)
it took a long time to get all the details ➡️ https://t.co/mNbPWWE21n pic.twitter.com/ZeBY48KOhH
– TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) July 11, 2022
This message can be a bit confusing for some premium subscribers (like me) who have been able to access the picture-in-picture mode through various methods for quite some time. In June 2021, the company announced that the feature is making its way into the app for paying customers and plans to bring picture-in-picture to its free users as well. Until August, it was available as an experimental feature that premium subscribers could activate. Then, in April 2022, YouTube ended the experiment, preventing users from opting in to use the feature. At that time, said the company There would be more details about the feature “soon”.
All in all, it’s been a bit of a bumpy road to get to this announcement today (although some of us activated it last year and have been using it ever since). YouTube acknowledges this in its tweets and blog posts, saying it’s “a slow rollout for a highly requested feature.” The company has also given itself some wiggle room to allow this phase to last a while too — his tweet says the feature is “rolling out slowly,” though his blog post is a bit more specific, saying it should be coming “in the next few days.”
To see if you have access to the feature, go to the YouTube app, try playing a video, and then exit the YouTube app to go to your home screen or another app. If picture-in-picture is enabled for your account, the video should automatically appear in a floating window. You can also check the feature by tapping your profile picture in the top right corner of the YouTube app and go settings > Generaland look for a switch labeled “Picture-in-Picture”.