The Youtube Premium subscription offers users a number of additional features, several of which are particularly useful on mobile devices. It includes, among other things, the ability to play content on the locked screen and a picture-in-picture feature to display content in a thumbnail player while other applications are running.
The latter has been integrated into the standard iOS video player for some time now, which is not the case with Android. Because the feature was only intended for Premium members, it was disabled for iOS, with the option to enable it for Premium subscribers via a beta version. Now the beta test has reached the end of the road, with good news for all iOS users.
Right now, picture-in-picture has been completely disabled, but only temporarily. IN a post on Twitter Youtube announces that the feature will be rolled out to all users with iOS 15 or later, apparently regardless of subscription type. This means that even users without a subscription, or alternatively the Premium Lite variant, get the feature at no additional cost.
However, users with Android devices don’t seem to be able to enjoy picture-in-picture for free just yet, although there are methods to bypass the Premium requirement. It’s unclear why YouTube chose to make the feature free for iOS users or if they plan to make it free for remaining users in the future.