Picture-in-picture support might disappear from the YouTube iOS app soon

iOS 14 Hero Picture In Picture
iOS 14 Hero Picture In Picture (Image credit: Rene Ritchie)

What you need to know

  • YouTube has extended picture-in-picture support for the iPhone.
  • It is currently an experimental feature only available to YouTube Premium subscribers.
  • YouTube currently plans to end the experimental feature on February 14.

The future of picture-in-picture support for YouTube on the iPhone is unclear.

As spotted by MacRumors, YouTube has extended support for the experimental feature until February 14. YouTube Premium subscribers can still enjoy using picture-in-picture with the YouTube app on the iPhone and iPad until that date.

YouTube initially launched picture-in-picture as an experimental feature for iOS back in August of 2021. Up until now, the feature has only been available to YouTube Premium subscribers. Free users have not had access to the feature yet despite a ton of other apps already supporting picture-in-picture formally like Apple TV, Hulu, Twitch, and more.

The company promised in July of 2021 that, while the feature would be only available to Premium subscribers as an experimental feature first, it would eventually come to all users.

Picture-in-Picture (PiP) allows users to watch YouTube videos in a small mini player while simultaneously browsing outside of the YouTube app on their mobile device. We're starting to roll out PiP for YouTube Premium members on iOS and plan to launch PiP for all US iOS users as well.

In a statement today, Google says that it still does plan to launch picture-in-picture support for all users but did not commit to a launch date.

We're still planning to launch PiP for all users without a YouTube Premium subscription in the US. We have no other updates to share at this time. In the meantime, we've also extended our experiment of PiP on youtube.com/new for our Premium users on iOS as we continue to test and improve the experience before launch.

Apple originally announced support for picture-in-picture on the iPhone and iPad when it revealed iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 back at WWDC in 2020.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.