One of the big new features of iOS 14 is the picture-in-picture mode, which allows you to watch video in a small window while doing other things on your iPhone. It’s easy if Safari wants to watch a YouTube video while chatting with your friends or checking your email. But unfortunately, YouTube seems to have done something to prevent videos from continuing to play while PIP mode is enabled – that is, if you do not pay YouTube premiums.
See for yourself. Pull up A video on Safari YouTube website Take it full screen on your iPhone. If you tap to drag the background controls, you should see an image icon in an image in the upper left corner of your screen. Tap it and the video will briefly go to its own window before returning to its usual place on the YouTube site. If you try to go back to your home screen while watching a video in full screen, you will notice that the brief glows in picture-in-picture mode before it disappears.
Interestingly, As noted Macroemers, You Can If you embed YouTube videos on a website, watch them in picture-in-picture mode. If you have a YouTube premium, picture-in-picture works as expected. If you are a free user it does not work properly. Not like yesterday Macroemers, I remember it running on iOS 14 beta before the official release of the software this week.
Regardless of whether you have a free or premium account, if you use an iPad, Pixar-in-Pixer mode works with Safari YouTube videos.
It is not clear whether this is a bug or that YouTube deliberately removed the function. For its own use, YouTube restricts the ability of YouTube premium subscribers to play background videos. It seems plausible that YouTube wants to control image-in-image for movie-paying subscribers.
Google and Apple did not respond to a request for comment.