YouTube TV Will Soon Bring Picture-in-Picture to iPhone and iPad
YouTube chief product officer Neal Mohan confirmed to The Verge that YouTube TV users will get the much-requested picture-in-picture support for iOS in the next couple of months.
This is long overdue since the feature has been available to Android users for quite some time now. Some lucky iOS users have had the feature available to them, as part of a test, since late last year.
Picture-in-picture shrinks the video into a small player that you can move around your home screen and position over other apps. This way, you can continue watching YouTube TV on your mobile device while using other apps.
Why has this feature taken so long? That’s because YouTube TV has been using a custom video player, which has made bringing the feature to iOS a bit of a challenge.
YouTube has recently added picture-in-picture support on their main app as part of a beta test for YouTube Premium subscribers. Previously, one of the main selling points for YouTube Premium, in addition to offline downloads and no ads, was that you can continue listening to content in the background.
Since P.I.P isn’t available just yet, if you’re watching YouTube TV on an iPad, you can turn on split-screen to use other apps while watching TV.
Mohan also confirmed a handful of other support news such as surround sound, which has been fairly limited on devices and TVs since YouTube TV announced the feature last summer. It’s not even supported on Google’s own Chromecast with Google TV devices yet. Mohan said the reason for the the slow feature rollout was due to software support and software upgrades. YouTube TV could widen support over the next six months.
“The rollout of that feature has certainly been a lot slower than I would’ve liked,” Mohan said. “My hope though is, hopefully over the next six months, you start to see that in a lot more devices out there as they go through their various stages of software upgrade cycles. I think that if we’re chatting in six months, that situation should be dramatically better.”
Also, Mohan stated that YouTube TV is getting an update to its UI, specifically to the library and guide. He added, “I hope you’ve noticed that the way the UX and the interface continues to improve on a regular basis, as opposed to kind of like a big bang… And so, what we have store in 2022 are some of those critical, again, sort of those critical user journeys.”
YouTube TV is a live TV streaming service with more than 60 channels for $72.99/month. This plan includes local channels, 32 of the top 35 cable channels, and regional sports networks (RSNs) in select markets.
With the recent addition of Viacom channels (BET, MTV, Comedy Central, etc.) to the service, they are only without Hallmark and A+E Networks (Lifetime, History, A&E).
They recently added NFL Network and new Sports Plus add-on which include channels like NFL RedZone for $11 a month.
YouTube TV offers select 4K content, including some live sports and on-demand shows, as part of their 4K Plus add-on. The 4K Plus add-on is $9.99 a month and also includes offline downloads and unlimited streams on your home network.
If you want a cheaper service with many of the entertainment channels on YouTube TV, you can subscribe to Philo which includes A+E, Discovery, Viacom, Hallmark, and other channels for just $20 a month after a 7-Day Free Trial.