YouTube iOS picture-in-picture for free users may finally have a release date

Brittany A. Roston - Aug 26, 2021, 7:01pm CDT
YouTube iOS picture-in-picture for free users may finally have a release date

After many months of waiting, many iPhone users can now use YouTube’s picture-in-picture feature through the platform’s app, eliminating the need to open a video in Safari to use the PiP mode. The feature was promised earlier this year after users complained that they could only access the feature if they signed up for Premium.

Back in June, YouTube said that it was rolling out picture-in-picture support for Premium subscribers in the US who access the platform using an iOS device. At that time, the company had also promised that its PiP support for iOS would arrive for free users in the US at a later date.

If you head over to YouTube’s Experimental Feature website, you’ll note that picture-in-picture for iOS is listed as one of the capabilities these YouTube users can access. The experimental option makes it possible for YouTube Premium users to access and test new features before they’re released for everyone, including non-Premium users.

According to YouTube, the feature can be used the same way as on Android: while watching a video in the app, swipe up or press the home button to close the app. The video will automatically shrink down to a small window in the corner of the screen, allowing you to continue watching the content while messaging, playing a game, or anything else.

The picture-in-picture mode on iOS will be available to Premium experimental feature users until October 31, after which point the feature should roll out broadly for everyone on iPhone to utilize, though YouTube hasn’t yet confirmed exactly when free users will be able to access it. YouTube notes that it is still working on the feature at this time, so it may change slightly before launch.


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