With iOS 14, Apple has added Picture- in Picture support to the iPhones as well. Up until iOS 14 was in beta stage, iPhone users could play YouTube videos on their iPhone in Picture in Picture mode by going to YouTube’s website in Safari. However, right around the time iOS 14 was released, YouTube blocked this feature and essentially disabled Picture in Picture support via its website.
The feature only worked for YouTube Premium subscribers on YouTube’s mobile website thereby signaling that this was an intentional change on YouTube’s part. With the release of iOS 14.0.1 though, it looks like the feature is once again working. It is unclear if Picture in Picture on YouTube’s mobile site is working due to a change on Apple’s part or if YouTube has restored this feature.
YouTube’s mobile app on iPhone or iPad does not support Picture in Picture, though the feature is under testing. It is unclear when YouTube will roll out Picture in Picture support for its iOS apps. With VP9 codec support in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, it is also possible technically to playback YouTube videos in 4K resolution on the iPhone or iPad, though this seems to only work with selected videos for now.
Apple might have added Picture in Picture support on the iPhone with iOS 14 just now, but iPads have had support for PiP for over a year now. It is high time YouTube gets around to updating its mobile app to add PiP support just like its Android app. It can always keep the feature exclusive to premium subscribers as a way to entice viewers to switch to a paid subscription.
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