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YouTube update will finally add picture-in-picture mode, letting people watch videos while doing something else

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

YouTube is finally adding perhaps its most obviously missing feature.

A new update to the app will allow for a picture-in-picture mode on iOS, that will let people watch videos while doing something else with their iPhone.

Apple has offered a picture-in-picture mode for years, and it has been embraced by most big video streaming apps. It means that the video can be shunted into the corner of the screen, allowing people to continue using their iPhone or iPad to do other things.

But YouTube has long held out from offering it within its app. In recent months, rumours suggested it was coming, and it arrived with some people in specific forms.

But now the company is finally adding it to all iPhone and iPad devices that are running the most recent iOS 15 software update.

YouTube said it was aware that the rollout had been “slow”, and thanked those people who helped out with experiments to check how it worked.

It is still, however, limited to the US for most users. In the US, everyone using the app will be able to use the mode for non-music content.

For everyone everywhere else, the mode can only be enabled with a YouTube premium subscription. That will give people in all countries access to picture-in-picture mode, and will turn it on for music videos too.

The feature can be turned on from the settings in the YouTube app, by clicking on “General” and then choosing to turn on the mode. Once it is switched on, users just need to leave the YouTube app and the video should keep playing.

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