YouTube Premium subscribers can no longer sign up to test YouTube’s picture-in-picture feature on iOS. PiP has disappeared from YouTube’s list of available experimental features, where it was previously listed with an April 8th expiry date. 9to5Google reports that some users are seeing a “The feature you’re trying has been turned off” banner notifying them that the test has ended, but both it and iMore add that the feature is still working on their accounts that previously signed up to the test.
Picture-in-picture support is available for video services generally at a system level for both iPhones and iPads, but YouTube’s support for the feature has been spotty, requiring workarounds like watching it through a browser rather than via its native app. But YouTube’s Premium test made the feature much more seamless, and allowed viewers to continue watching after they navigate away from the main YouTube app.
YouTube’s test of picture-in-picture support for Premium users was always meant to be limited. First announced in June last year, the beta period was originally set to end on October 31st, before being extended. But although the test was only for Premium users, last month YouTube once again confirmed it hopes to roll out the feature for all iOS users in the US, including non-Premium users, “in the coming months.”
With any luck, the end of YouTube Premium’s picture-in-picture test means that Google’s video platform is ready to roll out the feature more widely. Just last month, the search giant brought picture-in-picture support to its YouTube TV service on iOS. Hopefully regular YouTube isn’t too far behind.