YouTube Just Confirmed The Rollout Of This iOS Device Feature

It seems that the testing period is finally over — YouTube has confirmed that it will be rolling out Picture-in-Picture (PiP) on iOS "in a matter of days." This means that soon, iPhone and iPad users will be able to watch videos while simultaneously working on something else. PiP keeps a YouTube video on top of all the other apps you're currently running in a window that's small and resizeable. As such, with PiP on iOS, you'll be able to make the video window take up a portion of your screen, but not all of it — opening the door to new productivity options.

The tweet from TeamYouTube has been posted in response to a curious user who asked about the PiP feature after finding that their early access to the feature had disappeared. In the short message, the company divulged that PiP will be available across all devices that run iOS version 15 or newer. This is pretty huge, and some might say, long overdue. After all, many other streaming services already support PiP.

YouTube's journey with PiP on Apple devices started with rolling out the feature as an exclusive for YouTube Premium subscribers. Picture-in-Picture was listed as an experimental feature on YouTube's website and was removed entirely on April 8, 2022. Some users lost access to PiP over the weekend, and access will likely be spotty between now and the point at which the feature is launched to the public.

Will PiP be available to all iOS users?

With the end of the testing period, many users lost access to PiP on iOS, if only temporarily. However, this is not consistent across the board. Some YouTube Premium subscribers continue being able to use PiP even after the testing period had already ended. It's possible that YouTube has already begun rolling out the feature in its live version or simply didn't take it down for everyone.

As the test only included Premium users, it's hard not to wonder whether the feature will remain a subscriber-only perk once it appears in the live version of the YouTube app for good. Playing videos in the background is already a Premium perk, but PiP is different in that you continue seeing the video up on your screen — just minimized. It seems that YouTube plans to allow every user to use PiP on iOS, regardless of whether or not they pay for the service. In a statement shared with MacRumors, the company confirmed that was the plan, but we won't know for sure until PiP is made fully available.

Interestingly enough, YouTube's confirmation of the imminent rollout of PiP on iOS has been deleted since. You can still view the tweet on the Wayback Machine web archive. However, there is no reason to assume that the company is changing its mind about the feature, as many other signs point to a release taking place soon. At the worst, we might see a small delay, but this is just speculation at this point.