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YouTube PiP on iOS… But with a HUGE Catch!

YouTube is just now going to start rolling out support for picture-in-picture in the official app. But with one giant catch:

It’s only rolling out to people in the U.S., Americans, those of the States United. If you want to use it outside America, you know, in the other 96% of the known world, you have to pay for YouTube Premium. Which just makes all the kind of sense that doesn’t.

Now, that is in line with what YouTube has previously done on Android. Live free and PiP Hard in America, pay to PiP Play everywhere else.

Picture-in-picture, or the ability to float a video window over on top any other screen. It’s been available on the iPhone for a year already and the iPad… what… 6 years now.

But, in all that time, not only has YouTube failed to support in their own apps, they’ve gone out of their way to sabotage it in Safari.

Unless you’re a YouTube premium subscriber, trying to use even the basic, built-in, default functionality in Safari will cause YouTube to just scrooge-close the PiP on you with zero mercy or fs given.

There’s a shortcut you can use to get around those particular shenanigans, but really… it’s just beyond frustrating it had to exist, at all, ever.

And, I mean, kinda get it, YouTube’s only goal is to keep you watching YouTube — and ads — on YouTube, so maybe they felt PiP was good for users but not for them, who knows?

Either way, YouTube is just now going to start rolling out support for picture-in-picture in the official app. But with one giant catch:

It’s only rolling out to people in the U.S., Americans, those of the States United. If you want to use it outside America, you know, in the other 96% of the known world, you have to pay for YouTube Premium. Which just makes all the kind of sense that doesn’t.

Now, that is in line with what YouTube has previously done on Android. Live free and PiP Hard in America, pay to PiP Play everywhere else.

But I gotta believe that just has to change eventually, if not soon. Never mind that I don’t believe you’re allowed to charge for system-level features in the App Store, making a feature free in one part of the world and premium everywhere else… is just not a good look, and I can’t believe the look YouTube really wants here.

All that being ranted, I am legit glad that YouTube is continuing to improve their Apple device experience. After getting 4K working last year, Picture in Picture is just one more item off the missing feature list. And now that we’re approaching Android parity, maybe we can hope for more general fixes?

Like notifications, where if you subscribe but don’t hit the bell, you’ll only occasionally get them, and sometimes days later. Or if you hit the bell and choose always, but don’t get prompted to turn on OS level notifications for the app, so you still get nothing.

That’s why we all get so many complaints about not seeing the notifications…

Also, adding @ mentions to live stream chats on mobile like there are on desktop, because so many of us watch on mobile so always now.

So let me know what you think about the new PiP normal, and what else you’d like to see in the YouTube app, and I’ll see you in the next video!