Mac-Related

YouTube reserving Picture in Picture on the iPhone for Premium subscribers

Only YouTube Premium subscribers get to enjoy Picture in Picture on the iPhone.

What you need to know

  • YouTube has removed Picture in Picture support for most users in iOS 14.
  • It seems to only be working in Safari for YouTube Premium subscribers.
  • There are still some workarounds for the rest of us.

Reported by MacRumors, it appears that YouTube’s support for Picture in Picture on the iPhone is being reserved for YouTube premium subscribers. While some users thought that the lack of support in iOS 14 may have been a bug, it appears that the move to turn it off is intentional.

Picture in Picture appears to work on the mobile YouTube website in Safari for those who are YouTube Premium subscribers, which suggests that the restriction is intentional and not a bug.

For YouTube Premium subscribers, the YouTube app on the iPhone still does not support Picture in Picture in iOS 14, but users can get it working through the Safari app. That workaround had been working for all users prior to the release of iOS 14 on Wednesday, but it appears that it is now only working for Premium subscribers.

The YouTube app doesn’t support Picture in Picture, but up until yesterday there was a functional workaround that allowed videos from YouTube.com to be watched in Safari in Picture in Picture mode. As of today, that workaround is gone, and it’s not clear if it’s a bug or a deliberate removal. Attempting to use Picture in Picture on a video on the mobile YouTube website simply doesn’t work. Tapping the Picture in Picture button when in full screen mode pops the video out for a second, but it immediately pops back into the website, so it can’t be used as a Picture in Picture window.

There are still some workarounds for non-Premium YouTube users. According to the report, you are able to get Picture in Picture working when playing a YouTube video that is embedded on a third-party website. You can also get it working by requesting the desktop site on the iPhone.

Picture in Picture works with YouTube.com on the iPad, and YouTube videos embedded on third-party sites such as MacRumors.com appear to be able to play in Picture in Picture mode, but Picture in Picture is not functioning on the YouTube website. For now, Picture in Picture is no longer working with the mobile YouTube website, but there is another workaround. If you request desktop site on YouTube.com in Safari, you can get Picture in Picture to work as intended.

This isn’t the only issue YouTube is having with Apple’s new software. It has also been revealed that YouTube on the Apple TV is still missing 4K playback on tvOS 14.