YouTube has started testing native Picture in Picture support for its iOS app. While iPads have had support for PiP since iOS 9, YouTube never updated its app to add support for this feature. With iOS 14, Apple is bringing PiP to the iPhone as well.
As discovered by Daniel Yount and revealed on Twitter, YouTube seems to be testing Picture in Picture support on the iPad. The feature still seems to be in an experimental stage as it only worked with a live stream and not with other videos that Danial tried. All other popular video streaming apps like Netflix and Prime Video already support PiP on the iPad.
Picture in Picture working on iPadOS with the YouTube app.
(But only worked with this live stream, there must be some codec trickery happening behind the scenes for certain playback scenarios). pic.twitter.com/75vG7Ai4ln
— Daniel Yount (@dyountmusic) August 27, 2020
YouTube already allows users to play audio in the background, though this feature is only available to its Premium users. Thus, it is entirely possible that YouTube will limit the PiP feature to its paying members only.
It looks like both Google and Apple are finally working on solving their differences behind the scenes to deliver a better experience to end-users. Apple has added support for the VP9 codec in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 thereby allowing iPhone and iPad owners to stream videos in 4K or higher resolution on their devices.
Irrespective of whether your iPhone or iPad is running iOS 14 or iOS 13 though, you can still get YouTube videos to play in PiP mode via Safari.
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