4 February, 2023

YouTube Starts Testing Native Picture-in-Picture for iOS App Users: Report

YouTube’s new feature may only work for Premium subscribers.

YouTube has reportedly started testing a native picture-in-picture (PiP) feature in its iOS app. It allows users to continue watching videos in a floating window while working on other apps. Apple had earlier enabled the feature for its iPad users with iOS 9 and for iPhone users with iOS 14. However, YouTube never supported the feature, until now. Still in its test phase, the PiP feature is likely being rolled out in stages and a public rollout can be expected soon.

In its report, 9to5Mac said some Twitter users have been posting about the PiP feature being rolled out by YouTube app on iOS platform. Some users also said that the feature is only working with a few videos. This suggests that YouTube’s PiP feature is still in its test phase. 9to5Mac also confirmed that the feature is being tested with a small group of users only. We couldn’t spot the feature on any of our iOS devices.

PiP offers a way to continue watching videos while working on other apps. Users can start playing a video on the app and when they close it, the video would continue playing in a smaller floating window on the screen. Users can open and operate any other app while the floating window keeps on playing the video.

However, there’s a small catch. YouTube only allows users to play videos in the background when they are subscribed to YouTube Premium. So, for users to gain access to the PiP feature, they might need to be Premium subscribers as well. Prepaid plan for the Premium service in India starts at Rs. 139 per month. Users can also choose to go for the monthly subscription plan at Rs. 129 per month, that includes a month of free trial as well. With YouTube Premium, users can get an ad-free viewing experience with support for background play. It also comes bundled with subscription to YouTube Music Premium.