YouTube Premium subscribers can now try out picture-in-picture on iPhone until October 31

With Google prepping to soon launch YouTube picture-in-picture on iPhone, now YouTube Premium subscribers can experimentally try out the picture-in-picture (PiP) on iOS.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • PiP in YouTube is experimentally available to iOS users
  • The feature is available for testing until October 31
  • Only YouTube Premium subscribers can use it

YouTube lettering in white and logo in red set against an all-black background

Google launches YouTube PiP on iOS for a limited time

Google currently allows iOS customers to experimentally turn on support for PiP in the mobile YouTube app at youtube.com/new, with some caveats. First and foremost, this feature is currently reserved for YouTube Premium subscribers.

Tips for how to use picture-in-picture on iPhone

At $10/month, YouTube Premium also offers offline playback, YouTube Music and other perks. And secondly, Google says iOS customers can try out PiP until October 31. The company didn’t say whether it planned on launching this feature to everyone after October 31.

Users on Reddit first spotted this new experiment from YouTube.

How to try out YouTube PiP on iPhone

To temporarily turn on PiP support in YouTube for iOS, you must be a YouTube Premium subscriber and opt in to experimentally try out picture-in-picture on iOS.

  1. Open YouTube.com/new in your favorite web browser
  2. Click “Sign” In button to try experimental new features
  3. Choose “Try it out” next to “Picture-in-picture on iOS”

Google notes that a cut-off date for this experiment is October 31, 2021.

How to use YouTube PiP on iPhone and iPad

To enter PiP mode while watching a video in the mobile YouTube app, simply go to the home screen or launch another app and the video will continue in a mini player.

  1. With PiP turned on, open the mobile YouTube app.
  2. Start watching a video, then go to the home screen or launch another app.

That’s it, the video should now continue playing seamlessly in a resizable, movable mini-window overlaid on top of everything else displayed on the screen.

A still image showing an iPhone held in hand with a video shown playing in PiP mode on the home screen

The feature was a bit rough around the edges at the time of writing. For example, the video would pauses if you lock the screen while within PiP. This isn’t intended behavior though you can instantly resume playback with iOS’ media controls on the lock screen.

The YouTube PiP saga

Google began performing various tests of the PiP feature in YouTube for iOS in August 2020.

In June, the company promised to bring picture-in-picture mode to all iOS and iPadOS customers whether they’re subscribed to YouTube Premium or not. With PiP support in YouTube, iPhone and iPad customers can start watching something in YouTube and switch to another app, with the video continuing playing in an overlay window on top of everything else.

The user can then pinch the PiP window to make it bigger or smaller, send it to any screen corner or flick the overlay outside screen boundaries to only hear the audio playing.