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Tech tips

How to watch YouTube picture-in-picture on your iPhone – there’s also a catch

More than 2 billion people log onto YouTube every month and watch more than a billion hours of video every single day. YouTube can be found in more than 100 countries and 80 languages. It’s no surprise that the Google-owned video-sharing site is the biggest of its kind in the world.

You may be a seasoned YouTube watcher yourself, but did you know you can share videos with friends and family to start at a specific point in the footage? Have you used the Shorts camera to create your own little music video? Tap or click here for more cool YouTube tips and tricks.

Picture-in-picture (PiP) is a feature that has been available on TVs for quite some time. It lets you watch one program or channel on the full display while also watching something else in a smaller window. This neat trick has migrated to other devices, though YouTube was holding out. Now it’s here and you can use it with your iPhone.

YouTube finally gives in

Apple added a picture-in-picture mode to the iPad with iOS 9 and the iPhone got it with iOS 14. This lets users watch videos and chat in FaceTime calls while doing other things with their phone like browse the internet and social media or check email.

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YouTube has been testing PiP for iOS and you can now use it on your iPhone to watch your favorite YouTubers while performing other tasks. While YouTube PiP will eventually be available to all iOS users on iPhone and iPad, you need a YouTube Premium subscription to test the feature for now.

There are some things you need to have before you can try out YouTube PiP:

  • You need to be a YouTube Premium subscriber. Got to youtube.com/premiuum to sign up. An individual membership costs $12 per month. A family membership gets you and five family members in the same household access to Premium features for $18 per month.
  • Make sure you have the latest version of the YouTube app. Open the App Store app, select your profile picture and swipe down to see any pending updates. If there is one available for YouTube, tap Update.
  • Update your iOS by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
  • Now check if you have PiP enabled. Go to Settings > General > Picture in Picture on your iPhone and make sure Start PiP Automatically is toggled on.

Tap or click here to find out how to set up a private YouTube channel to share content with friends and family.

Trying out PiP

With all that done, open the YouTube app and tap on your profile. Tap Settings > Try new features and scroll down to Picture-in-picture on iOS. Now tap Try It Out. You can also go to youtube.com/new and toggle PiP from there.

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Now open the YouTube app and open a video. Once it’s playing, swipe up or press the home button on your iPhone. You’ll be able to watch the YouTube video on your home screen or while using other apps.

You can drag, resize and minimize the small YouTube window just as you would with any PiP window on your iPhone.

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