YouTube Site’s Picture-in-Picture (PiP) Reportedly No Longer Working on iOS
New updates are added at the bottom of this story…….
The original story (published February 20, 2021) follows:
Not everyone is a fan of the default YouTube app and prefers to use their web app from the browser instead. And after asking why they do it, you’ll get a range of different answers.
Some say it helps reduce their screen time while others feel that the YouTube app takes up too much storage space. Some may also think that the default YouTube app is “buggy”.
But perhaps the biggest motivation behind it all is the fact that YouTube’s mobile website is completely free of intrusive and ever-increasing ads.
This despite the fact that its desktop site, oddly enough, still throws ads at you, just like on the mobile app.
That said, there is yet another great reason to use the YouTube website on iOS – picture-in-picture mode. This useful little feature has unfortunately been restricted to YouTube Premium subscribers only.
Therefore, people who did not want to spend on a monthly subscription just for this feature would simply switch to the YouTube website depending on their needs.
However, YouTube’s popular picture-in-picture mode has been broken on iOS for quite some time now. Things changed with the arrival of the latest iOS 14.5 beta update, after which many users were delighted to find the feature re-enabled.
This joy was only momentary, however, as a few days later the picture-in-picture mode again broke down.
It is currently unclear who is to blame. But it seems that YouTube is continually patching its mobile site to prevent PiP from working on iOS. After all, this is a YouTube Premium feature.
Nevertheless, there are a few workarounds to get the feature working again.
First, there’s this nifty shortcut called “YouTube PiP Shortcut” which does exactly what it’s named for. To download and for more details, you might want to head to this Reddit post.
Although we haven’t been able to verify if it really does the job, the shortcut is still worth a shot.
If that didn’t help, you can also try the workaround given below by a user.
1. launch another application in the background
2. play the video in full screen or in PiP
3. swipe up or double tap to switch to other app
4. the browser will not force close the PiP window (tested on 14.5)
Hope these helped resolve the issue. Be sure to let us know in the comments below if that’s really the case. Also feel free to check out our iOS 14 bug/issue tracker and our YouTube bug tracker.
Update (March 10)
Prior to the stable release of iOS 14.5, Beta 3 users can now enjoy PiP on YouTube for the web by enabling incognito mode on the browser. But we hope this will not be necessary in the stable version.
iOS 14.5, Public Beta 3: Found a temporary workaround to Google’s new restriction prohibiting iPhone users from using PiP in Safari; Go incognito on the Google browser app, go to the YouTube website, and bam, you can do PiP that way???????
Check out a video of the feature in action shared on Reddit.
iOS 14.5, Public Beta 3: Found a temporary workaround to Google’s new restriction prohibiting iPhone users from using PiP in Safari; Go incognito on Google browser app, go to YouTube website, and bam, you can PiP this way 😌😂🤣👍🏻🙌🏻 from iOSBeta
Update (November 29)
It appears that some YouTube TV users are now seeing support for PiP on their iOS and iPadOS devices. This is interesting because on the official support page, Google states that the feature is not supported on iOS and iPad.
This stance might therefore change as we have a few reports that indicate that it is now supported. We’ll continue to keep an eye on that, so stay tuned.
Update (01 December)
Vinegar is a new Safari extension for iPhone, iPad and Mac. It was released earlier this month with the intention of replacing the YouTube player with a minimal HTML player.
Update (02 February)
YouTube has reportedly pushed back the availability of picture-in-picture mode by two weeks for premium subscribers. It will now be available until February 14, as an experimental feature for devices running iOS 14 or later.
Update (April 12)
10:21 a.m. (IST): YouTube has reportedly removed the experimental Picture-in-picture feature for iOS users. It was available for YouTube premium users.
Additionally, the company has also announcement via a tweet (now deleted) that it is rolling out picture-in-picture mode for all users running iOS 15 or later in the US.
Update (June 16)
12:53 p.m. (IST): TeamYouTube on Twitter has informed users that PiP has been made temporarily available on iOS for Premium subscribers. And they are working to make it widely accessible.
Update (July 8)
10:02 p.m. (IST): In response to several complaints related to the disappearance of the YouTube PiP feature on iOS devices (1, 2, 3, 4), the YouTube team notes that the company is currently working on the implementation.
However, there are no details on an ETA for it yet. So, iOS users can only expect more updates in this regard.
PiunikaWeb started purely as an investigative tech journalism website with a primary focus on “breaking” or “exclusive” news. In no time, our stories were picked up by Forbes, Fox News, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, MacRumors and many more. Would you like to know more about us? Head here.