WASHINGTON — Video-sharing platform YouTube has rolled out picture-in-picture support as an experimental feature for its premium subscribers, allowing them to watch a video in a small window when the application is closed.

YouTube announced the feature in June and said that it would be bringing picture-in-picture to iOS. Now, it seems the much-demanded feature is finally available, though perhaps for a limited time and only for YouTube Premium subscribers currently.


“Picture-in-Picture allows users to watch YouTube videos in a small mini player while simultaneously browsing outside of the YouTube app on their mobile device,” Youtube said.

“We’re starting to roll out PiP for YouTube Premium members on iOS and plan to launch PiP for all US iOS users as well.”

A YouTube Premium subscriber can access the feature by opening up a web browser and heading to www.youtube.com/new. The users can then scroll down to where “Picture-in-picture on iOS” is listed and click “Try it out.”

The user will be prompted to sign in to the account. Then, while watching a YouTube video, the users need to navigate away from the app using the home button or swipe up, and picture-in-picture will start.

“YouTube is finally sorta rolling out PiP (Picture-in-Picture) on iOS, but only in a test available to Premium subscribers until Oct. 31. Who knows, after that, it works on my iPad. Had to reinstall the app first, though,” tweeted tech analyst David Chartier.

Locking the phone screen while watching Picture-in-Picture will pause the video. However, one can resume it via the lock screen media controls.

When the user opens a video in the YouTube app on their iPhone, if one closes the app (either by swiping up or clicking the home button), the video will continue playing in a small window.

One can move that window around and do other things on your phone, and it will continue playing.

YouTube said the feature is “available until Oct. 31.” The company does not specify what happens after this date.

Picture-in-picture mode was launched in iOS 14 back in 2020.

YouTube also recently started testing the Youtube Premium Lite version for a cheaper rate.

“In Nordics and Benelux (except for Iceland), we’re testing a new offering to give users even more choice: Premium Lite costs EUR 6.99/month ($8.31/month) [or local equivalent per month], and it includes ad-free videos on YouTube,” said a YouTube spokesperson.

Premium Lite is expected to include ad-free viewing across YouTube’s main app on the web, iOS, Android, smart TVs, and games consoles. The feature will act the same in the YouTube Kids app.

But benefits, including YouTube Music with ad-free listening and Premium’s other features like background playback or offline downloads, are not a part of Lite.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Saptak Datta and Praveen Pramod Tewari



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