Picture-in-Picture – which allows users to watch YouTube while using other iOS apps – is currently available to Premium customers who enable it by visiting youtube.com/new. The capability, once live, will be available for all paid users around the world.
How to use: While you are watching a video, swipe up (or press home) to close the app and watch in a miniplayer.
• Locking the screen while watching in PiP will pause the video. You can resume the video using the lock screen media controls.
• When you’re trying this feature for the first time, it may not work properly for the first hour. If PiP doesn’t work after the first hour, try uninstalling and reinstalling the YouTube app.
When testing first started in August, YouTube set an October 31 end date for the experimental feature. That deadline was extended every time it ended, and most recently it was kicked down the road to March 14.
Besides being an indicator for the worldwide paid launch, this date is an indicator for when non-paying YouTube for iOS users in the United States will be able to use PiP for free with ads, though music content is excluded from background play.
Meanwhile, YouTube is also testing the ability to “Read comments while watching videos on desktop.” This redesigns the UI under the player so that there’s a Comments box — next to channel information — that, when tapped, opens a scrollable list of user feedback right next to the video window. As a reminder, only one YouTube test can be enabled at a time.
Click on the comment panel below the video player. You’ll see comments shown next to the video player instead of underneath it.
More on YouTube:
- YouTube Music gets tablet UI optimizations and ‘many more’ are planned
- YouTube TV bringing picture-in-picture to its iOS app, wider surround sound support coming too
- Google Duo debuts Live Sharing, Messages getting inline YouTube previews on Galaxy S22
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