YouTube Picture-in-Picture on iOS is running out, but there are ways to keep it

hands holding the phone

YouTube got rid of PiP on iOS, but there is a workaround for this.

Óscar Gutiérrez / topwatchbest

The YouTube iPhone app has offered the Picture-in-Picture feature YouTube Premium subscribers in the experiment for almost a year, but earlier this week, the popular video-sharing service confirmed on Twitter that the feature was removed – for now. PiP appears to remain available if you’ve already activated it, but if not, YouTube hasn’t mentioned a new return date for it.

The announcement came after YouTube tweeted a deleted message stating that PiP would soon be available to everyone, causing confusion among viewers who were hoping to enjoy the feature. YouTube posted a tweet: “Are you using an iOS smartphone? If so, Picture-in-Picture is still rolling out and will be available in a few days on all iOS 15+ devices. If necessary, write back @ us ”.

It found the announcement was for a YouTube TV service apparently introducing PiP for iOS users, and then another announcement followed from the official YouTube TV Twitter account. YouTube mentioned that PiP is still available for the regular YouTube app, but only for premium Android members, which was not the case until recently (it’s widely available on iOS).

Luckily, if you’re an iPhone user and still want to access the removed feature, there’s a workaround whereby YouTube can work with PiP on iOS – and that doesn’t require a premium subscription.

Use the PiPifier app on your iPhone or iPad to get picture in picture

To use YouTube’s Picture-in-Picture feature on iOS, you need to download first PiP, application with Arno Appenzeller it works as an extension of the Safari browser and allows you to use PiP features with any HTML5 video (basically any internet video on iOS) in the Safari browser. This includes YouTube, but only if you access it from a web browser.

PiPifier's page in the App Store showing screenshots from the app

PiPifier can be downloaded for free from the App Store.

Nelson Aguilar / topwatchbest

PiPifier is free to download from the App Store and works on iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch and Macs. It requires at least iOS 15, iPadOS 15 or MacOS 12 (version with Apple M1 chip) to work properly.

Enable the PiPifier extension in Safari

After you’ve downloaded the app, you don’t need to open it – you can go straight to Safari to enable the extension. In Safari, tap AA icon in the upper left corner, go to Manage extensions, turn on PiPifier and hit Done. This will enable the PiPifier extension in Safari, which means you can now use it directly from the website’s settings menu.

Screenshot of Manage Extensions settings

In Safari, go to AA> Manage Extensions to enable PiPifier.

Nelson Aguilar / topwatchbest

How to use YouTube Picture-in-Picture on iPhone and iPad

To use picture-in-picture on YouTube, go to Safari application, go to YouTube website and find the movie you want to watch. Now tap AA icon in the upper left corner and press PiPifier in the displayed menu. A small floating window should appear at the bottom of the screen playing a YouTube video.

Screenshot of PiPifier in the dropdown menu.

Launch PiPifier from the AA icon in Safari.

Nelson Aguilar / topwatchbest

Then you can swipe from Safari and the floating window will follow you wherever you go, including on your home screen and other apps. Use your fingers to move the floating window around the screen, then pinch and pinch to resize it accordingly. If you tap the floating window, you have options to fast forward, rewind and play or pause the video, as well as maximize it to full screen. To close the floating window, tap the X icon in the upper left corner of the window.

YouTube PiP video playing at the top of your phone's home screen

You can now watch YouTube videos from anywhere on your iPhone.

Nelson Aguilar / topwatchbest

The functionality of PiP video compared to using the YouTube app is almost the same: you can like and save videos, create a queue and leave a comment. The UI is a bit clunky so it’s harder to use, but if you’re only using PiPifier with a YouTube website, you shouldn’t really run into any major problems.

If you want to learn more about other iOS settings, check out these 10 hidden iOS 15 features that you may have missed and 20 iOS 15 settings you can adjust to help you become an advanced user.

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