YouTube Testing New Picture-in-Picture Feature for iOS Users

Currently only available for YouTube Premium subscribers

YouTube has launched a testing period for a picture-in-picture feature for iOS users in the U.S.

YouTube quietly announced the feature on its new experiments page, where it revealed the testing period for picture-in-picture lasts until October 31, but only YouTube Premium members on iOS can try it. According to tech news site TechCrunch, YouTube has been sending invitations to join the test to some of those Premium subscribers.

The YouTube logo displayed on an iPhone screen.

Sara Kurfeß / Unsplash

Picture-in-picture allows users to watch videos in a mini player while browsing other apps at the same time. Premium members can adjust where the video appears on a device and change its size by pinching to enlarge or minimize. The smaller video also comes with the standard play/pause buttons and rewind/forward controls.

Tapping on the video returns users back to the YouTube app. To try this feature out, Premium members have to sign up on the YouTube Experiments web page.

The YouTube iOS app does allow picture-in-picture, as Apple has rolled out its own version of the feature, but users cannot watch the video while scrolling on a different app. This functionality gives iOS users a new level of flexibility on their devices.

Man on iPhone with Dog

Alistair Berg/Getty Images

Currently, picture-in-picture is only available on iPhones and iPads, with no mention of the feature going to other iOS devices like the Apple TV or Apple Watch.

It's currently unknown what YouTube plans to do with the feature after October 31, whether it'll be a staple feature for Premium members on iOS, if all iOS users will have access, or if YouTube will outright remove picture-in-picture.

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