iPhone and iPad users rejoice! It’s been a long time coming, and finally, iOS and iPadOS 15.0 and higher will begin to receive picture-in-picture (PiP) over the next few days, allowing users to continue watching videos in a small mini player while simultaneously switching to other apps. The announcement was made yesterday on both Twitter and the YouTube Help Community with mixed reactions, considering the feature has been available on Android for years.
Previously, the feature had only been made available as a test to YouTube Premium iOS/iPadOS subscribers, who had to enable the feature manually. Now that it is ready, it will be available to both free and premium users, but with some caveats and restrictions for the former. Specifically, non-Premium members in the U.S. will only be able to use PiP with non-music content, while those with Premium memberships will be able to use it globally for all content, music or not.
To enable the feature, iOS/iPadOS users should go to Settings > General in the YouTube app and turn on “Picture-in-picture.” PiP should then work as expected when swiping up from the bottom of the screen to exit the video. In the announcement, YouTube clarified that this feature will continue to work on Android as it always has, so nothing is expected to change there.
The rollout is expected to take several days, so if you check now and don’t have this option, you may need to sit tight and wait a little longer. However, YouTube has recognized that this has been a very slow rollout for a highly requested feature and can hopefully get this out as fast as possible to the iOS/iPadOS community.