This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
The new Picture in Picture ("PIP") feature in iOS 14 allows users to "watch while" a video plays in a small window while opening another app. The official YouTube app does not support this feature, but there was a functional workaround that allowed videos from YouTube.com to be watched in Safari in Picture in Picture mode.
However, it has been revealed that the backdoor method of doing so (if you are not logged in with a paid membership account) is no longer working.
According to MacRumors, if a user tried to watch a video from YouTube.com in Safari in Picture in Picture mode, the feature no longer works. Tapping the Picture in Picture button when in full-screen mode pops the video out for a second, but it immediately pops back into the website, so it can't be used as a Picture in Picture window.
Picture in Picture in iOS 14 stopped working on iPhone for videos on YouTube’s website. YouTube videos embedded elsewhere still work fine. pic.twitter.com/8vTFy4u3Ut
This makes it impossible to "play YouTube videos and YouTube Music in the background (effectively) with or without a subscription". In the official YouTube app, background playback is only available to paid premium members, but previously it was available to free members in the above manner. So that loophole has been closed.
However, subsequent research has shown that YouTube videos in Safari can be PIP-controlled while YouTube premium members are logged in (the above has been confirmed on my iOS 14 environment as well).
Initially, it was seen as unclear if this was a bug or not, but it still seems that YouTube intentionally blocked a loophole for free members. We hope to see PIP support in the official YouTube app as well, although paid members can use PIP through Safari.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.