YouTube Premium subscribers get access to special features, including the ability to try “experimental” features. One example of this is Picture-in-Picture (PiP) for YouTube on the iPhone. We’ll show you how to enable and use it.
As an “experimental” feature, Picture-in-Picture for YouTube on the iPhone has an expiration date. After October 31, 2021, PiP for iOS will either go away or become a stable feature—the latter is the most likely outcome. (9to5Google notes that some people have got it working in iPad, too.)
First, go to youtube.com/new in a web browser such as Google Chrome. You need to be signed in with the Google account that has your Premium subscription. Scroll down to “Picture-in-Picture on iOS” and tap the “Try It Out” button.
Note: If you are already using another experimental feature, you will be asked to confirm one more time that you want to try Picture-in-Picture on iOS.
After that, the only thing left to do is try it out. To put the YouTube video into the floating “mini-player,” simply swipe up or press the home button to go to the iPhone home screen.
That’s all there is to it. You can drag the mini-player around the screen, tap the “X” to close the player, or return to the video in the YouTube app.
To turn the Picture-in-Picture feature off, go back to the youtube.com/new webpage and click “Turn Off.”
It’s a little annoying that YouTube is hiding this feature behind the Premium subscription for iPhone and iPad users. YouTube for Android has had this feature for free users for a long time. Eventually, it should be available for everyone on iOS and iPadOS, too.