The recently released iOS 14 update for iPhones introduced a variety of new features, such as Back Tap and Picture-in-Picture (PIP). As for the latter, you may want to forget about utilising the feature to watch YouTube videos while you attend to other applications on your Apple smartphone. That is, unless you’re subscribed to the video streaming platform’s Premium service.
According to MacRumors, a stealthy YouTube update will now close all videos from the platform when launched in PIP mode on iOS 14. This applies to both instances of opening a video via the platform’s website on Safari, and when viewing it through its mobile app. The site said that this ‘issue’ did not occur when they tested this feature during the beta, and added that it worked fine a few days back after iOS 14 launched.
Picture in Picture in iOS 14 stopped working on iPhone for videos on YouTube’s website. YouTube videos embedded elsewhere still work fine. pic.twitter.com/8vTFy4u3Ut
— Eric Slivka (@eslivka) September 18, 2020
After a bit of digging, MacRumors discovered that YouTube’s supposed ‘incompatibility’ with PIP mode is intentional and not a bug whatsoever. Reason being that the platform is limiting such features to only its Premium service, which allows subscribed users to play videos in the background. A peculiar restriction, but here we are.
However, the site added that free users could still view videos hosted by the platform in PIP if it is embedded on third party websites. Given that the embedded videos featured on these sites are very specific, this approach isn’t really considered a workaround. Interestingly enough PIP with Youtube still works fine on iPad devices for some reason.
YouTube Premium costs RM17.90 per month, which is somewhat a steep price to pay just to have Picture-in-Picture to work properly (unless you also want to get rid of advertisements from videos, that is). As for other streaming apps, PIP works as intended for services such as Apple TV+, Netflix and HBO Max.