YouTube picture-in-picture rolling out for all iPhone users [Update: NOPE]


YouTube Picture in Picture is back. At least for now.
Watching a YouTube video in Picture in Picture is back!
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

YouTube said Sunday that it is rolling out picture-in-picture support for all users of its iOS app. Then it walked the announcement back on Monday. A mixup by a support person is the problem.

The convenient feature has been in beta testing for many months, and some people say they’ve begun getting access to the non-beta version several days ago. But not according to YouTube.

YouTube picture-in-picture is [Not] finally here

PiP makes videos easier to enjoy because people can use their iPhone or iPad to multitask while also watching. It’s a feature long since available on many rival applications, including Apple TV and Disney+. And it’s finally in the YouTube app.

On Sunday, a user pointed out that the beta test for YouTube PiP in the iPhone application is over, but the feature wasn’t yet available to everyone. The official TeamYouTube account said, “Are you using an iOS smartphone? If so, the Picture-in-Picture feature is still rolling out & will be available in a matter of days across all iOS 15+ devices.”

Then on Monday, YouTube walked it back. A followup message says, “Just to clarify – what’s currently being rolled out is the YouTube TV picture-in-picture for iOS 15+ devices. If you’re referring to the one for the YouTube app, it’s only available to Premium members on Android mobile phones.” The previous tweet from Sunday has been deleted.

But we know picture-in-picture support for all iPhone users is on the way. In June 2021, YouTube promised, “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.”

The mixup was about the recent addition of PiP support for YouTube TV. Users of the regular iPhone YouTube are still waiting.

To be clear, some iPhone/iPad web browsers can already do YouTube PiP video. But the streaming service is adding the feature to its iOS application, and not just for Premium subscribers. It’s a feature that’s long been available for users of the Android app.

Note: This article was updated after YouTube realized its mistake.


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