Google says all iOS users will get picture-in-picture on YouTube within days [updated]

Google is rolling out picture-in-picture support in the YouTube app to all iPhone and iPad users in the US, including those not subscribed to YouTube Premium.

UPDATE April 11, 2022: Google’s YouTube team took to Twitter to clarify the company’s earlier statement saying all iOS users would get picture-in-picture in the YouTube app within days. “What’s currently being rolled out is the YouTube TV picture-in-picture for ‌iOS 15‌+ devices,“ the company explained. “If you’re referring to the YouTube app, it’s only available to Premium members on Android mobile phones.” At this rate, Google will turn on picture-in-picture in YouTube for iOS by the time iOS 25 rolls out.

A closeup photograph of a white iPhone with an icon for the Google YouTube app displayed on the home screen
Image credit: Nik / WABetaInfo
  • Experimental picture-in-picture support on YouTube for iOS has ended. Google is now rolling out the feature to all iOS and iPadOS users in the United States.
  • With this handy feature, you can watch a YouTube video in a floating window while using other apps, resize the mini-player using pinching, minimize it to a screen edge, tap to reveal playback controls and so on.
  • You don’t have to be a YouTube Premium subscriber to use picture in picture.

YouTube picture in picture rolling out to all iOS users

Google’s now removed picture-in-picture from the YouTube feature experiments page. Since last year, people could apply to try out this feature ahead of launch. The official YouTube Twitter account has confirmed that the iOS app is currently bringing picture-in-picture support to everyone on iOS 15 and up, which will take several days to complete. Read: How to use picture in picture in Firefox and Chrome

“The picture in picture feature is still rolling out and will be available in a matter of days across all iOS 15+ devices,” reads the tweet. The tweet doesn’t clarify if the feature could be limited to YouTube Premium subscribers. In the past, Google said it would bring picture-in-picture to all iOS users in the US. Although Apple has supported picture in picture on iPad since 2015 and on iPhone since the release of iOS 14, which launched in 2020, developers must opt-in to support the feature.

Google has permitted Premium subscribers on iPhones and iPads to turn on experimental support for the feature. Now that the feature is being rolled out to all users, everyone on iOS and iPadOS 15 in the US should soon be able to use picture in picture. Read: How to multitask with picture-in-picture on iPhone

When will you get picture-in-picture in the YouTube app?

Google’s support document explains how the company defines a rollout:

A rollout is a gradual launch of a new feature. Sometimes, to make sure it goes smoothly, we don’t show a new feature to everyone at once. Instead, we start with a small percentage of viewers and/or creators and increase that percentage over time until everyone has the new feature.

And that’s exactly how Google is bringing the feature to iOS users, introducing it in stages rather than launching it for all iOS users at once. To see if you have it, start playing a video in the YouTube app and then go to the home screen or use another app. The video should continue playing in a small window on top of everything else. If not, you may want to check back in a few days to see if Google you have picture-in-picture. With this feature, you can also listen to a video’s audio track when the device is locked and use the lock screen controls to manage playback.