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YouTube Picture-in-Picture Mode Support on Android Reportedly Available for Non-Premium Users Outside US

YouTube Picture-in-Picture Mode Support on Android Reportedly Available for Non-Premium Users Outside US

YouTube on mobile devices currently doesn’t work in the background

Highlights
  • YouTube Premium allows PiP on compatible Android devices worldwide
  • Non-paying users in the US can also use PiP on the YouTube app
  • The feature is reportedly rolling out worldwide for non-paying users

Perhaps the biggest issue with the YouTube app on Android is that you can't do anything else while watching a video, or even just listening to its audio. You need to keep the app in the foreground to keep the video playing; pushing it to the background while you use another app or even going back to the home screen will pause the video on YouTube. A workaround for that issue is picture-in-picture mode, which keeps the video running even with the app in the background. However, this is only available for YouTube Premium subscribers, and non-paying users in the United States.

A report by Android Police claims that support for picture-in-picture mode for non-paying subscribers is spreading beyond the US. The report shows the feature available in Italy, but it could also be available in other countries as well. A Google support page states that it is still only available for users in the US, though.

The feature can be enabled through the settings on the YouTube app, provided your smartphone supports it. It's turned on by default on Android 8.0 and later. We tried to activate it on a device in India logged into an Indian Google account, but we didn't have the ability to activate and use PiP mode. It could be rolling out gradually, so not all users will get it at the same time.

Picture-in-picture mode is an interesting feature that has been implemented by other apps such as WhatsApp. Supporting this feature for non-paying YouTube users around the world will certainly make the app usage experience a lot better.

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Further reading: YouTube, Google, Android
Ali Pardiwala writes about audio and video devices for Gadgets 360 out of Mumbai, and has covered the industry for a decade now. Ali is a Senior Reviewer for Gadgets 360, where he has regularly written about televisions, home entertainment, and mobile gaming as well. He is a firm believer in 4K and HDR on televisions, and believes that true wireless earphones are the future of the personal audio industry. Ali is available on Twitter as @AliusPardius and on email at alip@ndtv.com, so do send in ...More
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