The picture-in-picture support on Apple's devices will help catch up to other streaming apps, such as Netflix and Prime Video. It was first introduced to iPad users with Apple's OS 13 and then to the iPhone with Apple's OS 14 in 2020, but YouTube has been slow to adopt this now standard feature which allows users to stream videos in a small, floating miniplayer on their homescreen while multitasking on their
To try out the new picture-in-picture mode on the service, users first select a title they want to play, and then use their finger to move from the bottom of the screen to the top. Not all users will see the option immediately, because it is slow rolling out.
iPhone & iPad users
We’re happy to share that picture-in-picture is now rolling out to your iOS 15+ devices. Simply select a video to watch and swipe from the bottom of the screen to return to the device's homepage. The video can scale down and move across your screen.
— YouTube TV (@YouTubeTV) March 30, 2022
Users are frustrated that it has taken so long to implement this now-basic function. There is some speculation that the delay has to do with how the player on the iPad has been designed for serving and tracking ads, a core aspect of the business of the company.
This seems like a plausible explanation, given that the option for picture-in-picture has been tested on the site since last August. According to the Experiments website, the tests on PiP are still going on. The current test will be on the site until April 8.
The end date of the test may not mean that PiP support will be added soon. It was pushed for some sort of sense as to when the feature would be made available to all users on the platform.