We definitely didn’t sign up for this!
Picture-in-picture mode is probably the biggest new feature in the iOS arsenal, which allows users to watch a video in a small window while multitasking on their iPhones.
This feature is quite useful, especially when you want to watch a video alongside chatting with your friends or in between your boring zoom meetings! But sadly, it appears that Youtube has started capitalizing on the use of this feature, as they have now started blocking videos in PIP mode, unless, of course, you pay for Youtube Premium. That’s bad, YouTube!
Don't believe us? Experiment it by yourself! Expand a video on Youtube’s website in Safari into a full screen. Upon tapping to pull up playback controls, you will see a picture-in-picture icon in the top-left corner of your screen. Press that, and the video opens into its own window before resuming it to its usual position on YouTube’s site.
And if you tap back to your home screen while watching a video in full screen, you will notice that it flashes into picture-in-picture mode for a short while before vanishing.
However, you can still watch YouTube videos in picture-in-picture mode if they're fixed on a website. And if you have paid for the YouTube premium, that makes you their favorite and your picture-in-picture works smoothly as it should. But free users are no longer able to enjoy this luxury!
iPad users can still watch videos in PIP mode in Safari, regardless of whether you’re a freebie or have a premium account.
If you’ve trouble understanding the latest iOS software, then this iPadOS 14 User Guide is a must-read to understand all the tricks and techniques of iOS 14.
Not sure, if it's an iOS’s glitch or YouTube has deliberately tried to pull such a stunt. As for now, YouTube has only provided the luxury of playing videos in the background to only its premium subscribers. So, it makes sense that they want to limit picture-in-picture mode to only the users who’ve paid for the premium.