YouTube ends picture-in-picture experience on iPhone without launch

Who knows how long we will all have to wait for picture-in-picture support for the YouTube app.

As 9to5Google reported, YouTube has officially ended its testing of picture-in-picture support on iPhone and iPad. It’s been available to YouTube Premium subscribers as an experimental feature for almost a year now, but as of this weekend, it’s no longer available to app users who want to enable it.

Although Google informed potential users that “the feature you are trying has been disabled”, it apparently still works for YouTube Premium subscribers who had already enabled the feature before Google shut it down.

That said, YouTube PiP still works for iPhone and iPad users who previously enabled the test. It didn’t disappear on an iPad where we actively use PiP, while installing the YouTube app on a new iPhone and logging into a Premium account enabled it.

Premium users, however, who have never tried the experience do not have PiP today. YouTube has yet to widely roll out the capability 10 months later.

I personally activated the experimental picture-in-picture feature as a YouTube Premium subscriber months ago and can confirm that the feature is still working according to the above report.

Google has already said it plans to officially roll out picture-in-picture support for YouTube Premium subscribers as a benefit. It also plans to make the feature available to all YouTube users, Premium or not, in the United States. However, the company has not yet specified when the rollout will take place.

YouTube has some catching up to do. Picture-in-picture has quickly become a long-awaited feature for video apps on iPhone and iPad since Apple rolled it out with iOS 14 a few years ago. Even the YouTube TV app added support for the feature in late March.

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