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YouTube has, suddenly, and with little fanfare, made its picture-in-picture mode available on Android for free. YouTube’s PiP mode was previously only available to YouTube Red subscribers, but with the switch to YouTube Premium times have changed.
Picture-in-picture allows you to view content in a small window while continuing to use the device in question. PiP has been common on TV sets and the like for years, and with the release of Android 8.0 (Oreo) it has been an option on your smartphone too.
How to Use YouTube’s PiP Mode
YouTube’s picture-in-picture mode has, until now, only been available for people willing to pay for the privilege of watching YouTube. However, YouTube has now removed that barrier, making its PiP mode available for free on Android. Sorry, iOS users.
Unfortunately, YouTube isn’t making its PiP mode available to everyone. You’ll need to be resident in the U.S., and using the YouTube app on an Android device running Android 8.0 (Oreo) or above. So international users or anyone with an older phone is out of luck.
Even if you do qualify to use picture-in-picture for free, not all videos are available to watch. Any videos that contain music content will not work with PiP, at least for free. Instead, you’ll need to subscribe to YouTube Premium or YouTube Music to unlock them.
As detailed on YouTube’s support pages, using PiP mode is simple. When you’re watching a video, tap the Home button on your device. Instead of closing YouTube, as it would have done previously, the video will continue playing in a small window.
PiP Is Perfect for the Under-30s
This is, admittedly, a small upgrade to the way YouTube operates. However, for those people (anyone under the age of 30) who have short attention spans, picture-in-picture lets you watch YouTube videos without actually watching YouTube videos.
Image Credit: Rego Korosi/Flickr