Picture-in-picture mode, one of the iOS 14’s major new features, from now does not work on YouTube unless you have a premium.
With the help of this new feature, users were able to watch videos in a floating window. This feature was very helpful for those who liked to do multitasking while watching a video or listening to music on YouTube. Earlier, users were able to play YouTube videos on Safari and then watch minimize and watch it on a floating window.
Unfortunately, we cannot do this anymore. YouTube removed it specifically since Picture-in-Picture is a YouTube Premium membership feature. If you’re a premium user. then there’s no need to worry, you can still use this feature. This was done to get more people to sign up for the YouTube Premium. YouTube cannot just allow its users to enjoy a premium feature so easily.
But there’s a twist. Some users tried to work around this new restriction that YouTube has imposed. After some experimentation, users found out that by playing video after switching YouTube to desktop mode on the Safari browser they can use Picture-in-picture mode and watch the video without any issues. From this, we can conclude that the new algorithm only works on the mobile website version since switching to the Desktop node worked flawlessly.
Another interesting thing, we came across is that YouTube doesn’t prevent its iPad users from exploiting this feature. iPad users are still able to use Picture-in-picture mode to watch YouTube videos do not matter if the premium or free. We can assume that YouTube only focused on iPhone users while putting up this restriction.
They also haven’t done an official announcement regarding did they do this. Maybe it was one of those small Google vs Apple fights.
Removal of this feature wasn’t a bug since the feature was still available to the premium users. We are probably not going to get back in the future at least for free.