Finally, the YouTube app on iOS supports picture-in-picture support, allowing users to continue watching videos in a small pop-up window while scrolling through their iPhones and iPads.
In a statement to Gizmodo and other outlets on Friday, a YouTube spokesperson said the feature is currently rolling out worldwide to YouTube Premium subscribers first. A bigger launch for all iOS users in the US is apparently in the works, but YouTube hasn’t provided a timeline for when free users can expect to access the feature.
Apple has brought in-video support to iPads with iOS 9 and iPhones with iOS 14, although making it work with the YouTube app has been another story. Some users have found creative workarounds through the YouTube website on Safari or iOS shortcuts. However, YouTube’s updates have made some of these shortcuts obsolete, unless you pay for its Premium service at $ 12 per month.
With official iOS support, let’s hope these headaches are a thing of the past and iOS users can soon enjoy the same functionality as Android users have been able to for years.
Now, I don’t have a dog in the whole Android vs. iOS fight; Growing up, my family bought gadgets based on the best-selling brand, and I struggled to get rid of that pinch of pennies even now with access to real adult money. This indifference hasn’t stopped Apple fans from talking to me, especially after I finally got my first smartphone: a Nexus 6, a model that was already a year old when I saved enough to buy one in 2015. (Yeah, I know, I was super late for the game). But hey, even this the old thing had a picture-in-picture backing.
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Update: 06/18/2021, 8:04 p.m .: Added statement from YouTube.