Two years after the feature was made available to third-party developers on iPhones and seven years after it came to the iPad, Google has announced that it will now launch Picture-in-Picture for the YouTube iOS and iPadOS app.
Google says the picture-in-picture capability will be rolled out gradually, although it hasn’t given a timeframe. However, it clarified that feature availability may vary based on premium subscriber status and location. Globally, the picture-in-picture capability will work for anyone with a YouTube Premium subscription and any video. Users in the United States who no You also have YouTube Premium that will be able to take advantage of Picture-in-Picture, but only for what Google considers non-music content.
This limitation will likely prevent users from listening to music in the background on their devices with a free YouTube account instead of subscribing to the company’s music offerings. While Picture-in-Picture is new, background audio (including music) for currently playing videos has long been a cornerstone of YouTube Premium.
Picture-in-Picture was introduced to iPhones in iOS 14, which was released in 2020, but on the iPad, it dates back to iOS 9 of 2015. Apps run on the platform, leaving YouTube as an exotic tool.
Google announced last summer that it would begin testing the feature with YouTube Premium members who subscribed, and that testing period ended in April. The company hasn’t said a word about it between then and now. Android users have been able to access picture-in-picture on YouTube for years.
For what it’s worth, the Share community support By Google announcing this new rollout, it acknowledged the slow pace, saying:
We understand that this has been slow to roll out a much needed feature, and we want to thank everyone who posted comments during trials (including recently at youtube.com/new) I waited patiently for this moment!
However, this is not the first time that iPhone and iPad users have received important features of Google apps such as YouTube or Google Maps, after a long time from Android users.
As with other apps that use iOS’s native PIP capability, you simply need to start a video, then swipe up from the bottom of the screen (or hit the home button on older iPhone designs) to leave the app. The video should continue to play in a moving, resizable window that hovers as you navigate the home screen or other applications on your device.
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