Following a lengthy testing period, YouTube’s picture-in-picture support for iOS will begin rolling out in the next few days, allowing all users, including non-premium and premium subscribers, to close the YouTube app and continue watching their video in a small pop-up window.
Google in June announced that picture-in-picture support would be rolling out to both premium and non-paying YouTube app users in the US, but many people outside the country have been able to get it working, so the company could be making it globally available.
Only YouTube Premium subscribers have had access to picture-in-picture mode on iOS as an “experimental feature,” and at one stage this was interpreted to mean it would remain a premium-only feature, until Google clarified that it would eventually be coming to all users in the country.
On Sunday, in a tweeted response to a user having problems accessing the experimental feature, YouTube said picture in picture would be available in “a matter of days” for devices running iOS 15 and later.
Are you using an iOS smartphone? If so, the Picture-in-Picture feature is still rolling out & will be available in a matter of days across all iOS 15+ devices. Tweet back @ us if needed. — TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) April 10, 2022
For those unfamiliar with the feature, picture-in-picture allows videos to be watched while using other apps. When watching a video, users can tap the picture-in-picture button to move the video to a smaller window that floats over the Home Screen or other apps.
YouTube has extended the testing period for the feature several times in an effort to improve the experience before an official launch, and it now appears that the company is almost ready for it to go live.
The availability of YouTube picture-in-picture has been back and forth, with the feature sometimes working via the YouTube website on Safari. Some users have resorted to Shortcuts to turn off built-in parameters on the YouTube site that disables picture-in-picture. But with official support just around the corner, those workarounds will no longer be needed.
Update: YouTube has clarified its earlier comment about the rollout “in a matter of days,” and said that it was made in reference to YouTube TV, not YouTube.
“What’s currently being rolled out is the YouTube TV picture-in-picture for iOS 15+ devices,” YouTube said on Twitter. “If you’re referring to the YouTube app, it’s only available to Premium members on Android mobile phones.