If you like multitasking or you switch between different applications more than the average person, then you know that the experience is never smooth when you are on YouTube. As soon as you leave the app, the video pauses and you will have to go back and tap on play to continue. This sort of changed with Android Oreo with the introduction of picture-in-picture mode, a feature that allows you to continue playing the video as you switch to a different app. In this case, the YouTube player is minimized to small window tucked away to a corner letting you switch to another app without any issues.
Ever since Picture-in-picture mode landed on the official YouTube app, it has been available to those who have subscribed to YouTube Red. This is YouTube’s subscription model that gives users access to original and exclusive series and movies as well as advertising-free streaming of all videos hosted by YouTube, offline play and background playback of videos on mobile devices and access to advertising-free music streaming through Google Play Music.
Limiting availability to YouTube Red subscribers only did not sit well with other users who felt left out. Well, if you are one of those people offended with this move, I got some good news. You may soon have the option of using picture-in-picture mode on YouTube even if you are not a YouTube Red subscriber.
Some users on Reddit have spotted the feature working on non-YouTube Red accounts for some Google Pixel phones. This does not mean that the feature will only work on Google Pixel phones, it has been confirmed that it also works on other Android devices in different parts of the world.
The YouTube app version that has this feature is version 13.16.55. I do have this version but I still do not have Picture-in-Picture mode yet. YouTube is yet to say anything about this but given the fact that some people are already seeing it indicates that it will be available to other users very soon.
Google annual I/O conference is coming soon and I expect the company to say something about this then.