YouTube working on giving iPhone users a welcome new feature

Man using the YouTube app on iPhone
(Image credit: Shutterstock / mrmohock)

YouTube has confirmed to TechRadar that it hopes to make picture-in-picture (PiP) support available on iOS for Premium and non-premium members "soon."

An earlier report and version of this story said YouTube would bring it to iOS devices “in a matter of days.” However, Google told us that that quote was pulled from an earlier, and since-deleted tweet from the official YouTube Twitter account, and was only referring to the PiP rollout for iOS users on YouTube TV.

The PiP feature, which allows users to minimize (and therefore continue watching) YouTube videos in the corner of their screen while using other apps, is still part of a timed trial with YouTube Premium subscribers.

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In a statement given to TechRadar, a YouTube representative explained, "We make features such as PiP temporarily available on for Premium users to try out. Through this, our teams are able to gather user feedback and refine the experience before a wider rollout in the coming months. When PiP rolls out in the U.S. on iOS devices, it will be available to both Premium and non-Premium users."

The company added that those users who opted into the current PiP trail will have access to the feature until they opt into another experiment.

The YouTube PiP feature is already available on Android devices running Android 8 and beyond.

What it might be like

Although we don’t know the exact date that PiP support is rolling out to the YouTube app on iOS, a handful of Premium subscribers have shared the steps required to enable it.

To activate PiP support on your YouTube app – if you've opted for the trial  – you’ll need to tap the user icon in the top right corner of the screen, then navigate to Settings. Once there, tap the General tab, then toggle picture-in-picture mode on.

PiP support on the YouTube app behaves as it does with FaceTime for iOS users. Simply swipe up to the home screen while watching a video to minimize the window, at which point you’ll be able to move and resize the mini-player to your liking. 

Incidentally, the feature has been native to iPhone and iPad devices for some time – YouTube has simply been slow off the blocks when it comes to enabling PiP in its own app. PiP was only rolled out to YouTube TV videos last week, for instance. 

Correction: April 11, 2022

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the YouTube iOS App PiP feature would be "coming in a matter of days." That information was based on unintentionally misleading tweet from YouTube. We have updated this post to reflect what we now know about timing.

Axel Metz
Senior Staff Writer

Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.