One of the new features in iOS 14 is built-in support for picture-in-picture. However, it’s not working everywhere some people might like.
As first noted today by MacRumors, it turns out that if you navigate to YouTube via Safari on your iOS 14-equipped device, it won’t actually let you successfully activate picture-in-picture. Not without some caveats. You can try it for yourself, and we’ve confirmed that it does indeed not work. Simply navigate to YouTube in Safari on your iPhone.
When you do, launch a video and make it go full screen. Once you do you should see a PiP icon in the top-left corner of the video. If you tap on that video it will try to launch picture-in-picture, but will then revert to the usual spot on YouTube’s website. The alternative option while watching the video is to swipe up to go Home, which should launch PiP as well. And that almost works, as it will flash in PiP mode for a moment, but then, that, too, will fail.
Here’s Jay Peters sharing a video of the feature not working via Twitter:
iOS 14’s picture-in-picture mode doesn’t work with YouTube in Safari. 🤔 pic.twitter.com/JwGLAmwhwb
— Jay Peters 🧇 (@jaypeters) September 18, 2020
Now, about those caveats. As noted in the original report, the feature does work in some spots. For instance, if you load a different website that has a YouTube video embedded and try to launch PiP, that will work. But, most noteworthy, is that the feature will work without any issues at all if you are a YouTube Premium subscriber. Even if you load up YouTube’s mobile site on Safari. So the feature doesn’t work on YouTube’s mobile site if you’re a free user.
The most interesting part of this is that it appears YouTube stopped supporting the feature in this way today. It was apparently working just fine yesterday, and, as many have pointed out, it was working during the beta period as well.
One more thing: if you are using Safari on your iPad, then there shouldn’t be any issues using PiP at all whether you’re a free YouTube user or a Premium subscriber.