YouTube begins testing native picture-in-picture mode on iPhone and iPad

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

What you need to know

  • YouTube is testing picture-in-picture on iOS and iPadOS for the first time.
  • iPads have supported PiP for a long time.
  • iOS 14 will bring it to iPhones as well.

YouTube is testing picture-in-picture (PiP) support for its iPhone and iPad app, as spotted by people on Twitter and confirmed by 9to5Mac.

While iPads have supported PiP for a good long while, YouTube has been typically slow to add support. But it seems the impending arrival of iOS 14 and PiP on iPhone has given them a kick up the rear, with testing now underway.

One Twitter video shows the function working on an iPad for the first time, although it only seemed to work on one particular video. 9to5Mac was also able to confirm that the feature appears to be in the hands of a limited number of users right now.

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It isn't yet clear whether YouTube Premium will be needed if people want to use PiP, however. The subscription service is required to be able to play a YouTube video in the background, although it's true that PiP is slightly different. We'll have to wait and see how things pan out when the feature has been made available to everyone. Whenever that might end up being.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.