While iOS is typically the first to get the best new app features over Android, one that still eludes iPhone owners is picture-in-picture (PiP) support for YouTube. Given that Google owns YouTube, this is perhaps slightly less surprising, but Google hasn’t withheld much from iOS users historically.
A statement to MacRumors from Google last summer seemed to confirm that the feature was soon arriving for YouTube Premium subscribers on iOS and eventually all iOS users. A recent (since deleted) tweet from TeamYouTube sparked another round of coverage, indicating the feature will arrive in a matter of days, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
The source of the confusion is that YouTube TV on iOS 15+ is rolling out an update that adds picture-in-picture support. While the original question didn’t mention YouTube TV, the individual responding to the question for TeamYouTube seems to have misunderstood, as they explained in the clarifying tweet below.
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. https://t.co/wB9vUWtm3UApril 11, 2022
Until recently, YouTube Premium subscribers on iOS and iPad OS had access to PiP as part of an “experimental feature,” but it ended days ago with no word on what was happening next. The slip-up may indicate that the feature is also coming to YouTube for iOS soon, but there’s nothing official to indicate that yet. However, as the TeamYoutube account notes, the feature is still restricted to YouTube Premium members on Android, so even if it does come to iOS, it’s unlikely to be available to all users.
So here’s hoping that PiP will officially arrive on iOS sometime in the coming weeks, but for now, Android fans can still enjoy holding this feature over their iPhone counterparts.