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YouTube picture-in-picture remains Android exclusive for now

A tweet that seemed to announce a much-longed-for feature rollout for YouTube for iOS users may not have been so accurate after all.

The original tweet from the official @TeamYouTube account on Twitter stated that a new picture-in-picture (PiP) feature was rolling out and would be available to all iOS 15+ devices. That tweet has since been deleted and followed up by a clarifying tweet that instead suggests that the new picture-in-picture feature was being rolled out, but only for the YouTube TV app for iOS 15+ users.

Just to clarify – what's currently being rolled out is the YouTube TV picture-in-picture for iOS 15+ devices. If you're referring to the one for the YouTube app, it's only available to Premium members on Android mobile phones.

— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) April 11, 2022

It all started on Sunday, April 10, when Twitter user @LordRathore tweeted a request for help with restoring a once “experimental” picture-in-picture feature that had suddenly disappeared. In response, @TeamYouTube said that the feature was “still rolling out” and would be available “across all iOS 15+ devices” and that it would be “available in a matter of days.”

The deleted tweet in full reads: “Are you using an iOS smartphone? If so, the Picture-in-Picture feature is still rolling out; will be available in a matter of days across all iOS 15+ devices.”

Picture-in-picture can be a particularly useful feature for those who want to watch YouTube videos while using other apps on their mobile devices. And while both iOS and Android devices have been able to support the feature, only the Android version of the YouTube app has had lasting (non-experimental) support for PiP. As 9to5Google notes, iOS users with a Premium subscription have only had the ability to enable the experimental feature for just over a year now.

Oddly enough, the clarifying tweet sent by @TeamYouTube still appears to contain incomplete information about the availability of PiP on the YouTube app, saying that it’s “only available to Premium members on Android mobile phones.” That’s only half right. PiP is available exclusively to Premium members using Android, but that’s only true for worldwide users.

For now, PIP is available in the United States even without a Premium membership on all Android devices that run Android Oreo or later and should be enabled automatically. If it’s not turned on or you’d like to disable it on Android, you can do either by simply doing the following: Navigate to your system settings, select Apps, select YouTube, and then tap Picture-in-picture. Tap the toggle button next to Allow picture-in-picture to turn the feature on or off.

Digital Trends also reached out to YouTube for further clarification and comment on the PiP and YouTube for iOS situation. YouTube responded with the following emailed statement:

“The tweet was mistakenly referring to the picture-in-picture rollout to iOS users on YouTube TV, which took place a few weeks ago. We’re continuing to test PiP on iOS for the mobile YouTube app with Premium members globally and hope to make it available to all iOS users in the U.S. (Premium and non-Premium) in the coming months. PiP is currently available to all Android users in the U.S.”

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Anita George
Anita has been a technology reporter since 2013 and currently writes for the Computing section at Digital Trends. She began…
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