Picture-in-picture is finally coming to YouTube for iOS users


It’s finally here, folks. YouTube will allow iOS users to continue consuming content in the background – at least somehow.

It comes in the form of a picture-in-picture (PIP) feature that allows you to exit the YouTube app and keep your video playing on a smaller screen that stays on the screen. This differs from the previous minimize function, where users can play their current video on a smaller screen, but only while they are still browsing the YouTube app.

There’s a catch, of course. According to MacRumors, the PIP feature will come to premium subscribers first (it is currently being rolled out). However, YouTube promises that the feature will soon be available to all users, whether they pay or not.

As a non-paying YouTube user, what I particularly love about PIP is the fact that I can use it as a small workaround for streaming music for free. Currently, only YouTube Premium subscribers can stream music from YouTube using Background Play, which allows you to close the app and still hear the sound even when the screen is completely off.

Well, this workaround won’t be perfect: PIP just shrinks the screen, doesn’t close the app completely to play music in the background. So you’d have to use your phone around the small screen, but that doesn’t seem too bad.

What would be even more annoying would be the concerns about battery drain and data usage. If the video is running on a small screen by itself, an iPhone’s battery would definitely drain quickly. And if you do that somewhere without WiFi, your data bill will go up just as quickly. You’d also have to turn off any power saving settings, and the always-on display probably wouldn’t play that well with the inside of a bag.

Like I said, it’s not perfect, but I would love to accept it. I use YouTube to check out certain things like vloggers, tutorials, and sometimes celebrity interviews, which very often I can only find there. I’m a pretty auditory learner so I enjoy listening to these videos quite observe closely, but much less intensely. And most of the time, I’m easily distracted, so I’d love to have my favorite videos play while I do other things on my phone without subscribing to YouTube Premium.

In reality, I normally don’t want to stream music from YouTube that often, but I love that PIP-Sorta gives me the option. Ultimately, I got pumped to jump around in different apps while still half-heartedly watching a vlog. Another way to develop my phone addiction, just what I needed!


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