YouTube Premium subscribers can no longer sign up to test YouTube’s picture-in-picture feature on iOS. PiP has disappeared from YouTube’s list of available experimental features, where it was previously listed with an April 8 expiration date. 9to5Google reports that some users are seeing a “The feature you are trying to be disabled” banner stating that the test has ended, but both iMore and iMore add that the feature will still work on their accounts that had previously signed in to the test.
Picture-in-picture support is available for video services, generally at the system level for both iPhones and iPads, but YouTube’s support for the feature was spotty, requiring workarounds such as viewing via a browser instead of via its own app. But YouTube’s Premium test made the feature much smoother and allowed viewers to continue watching after exiting the main YouTube app.
A screenshot showing the picture-in-picture test was supposed to end on April 8. Screenshot: YouTube.com
YouTube’s test of picture-in-picture support for Premium users was always meant to be limited. The beta period, which was first announced in June of last year, was originally supposed to end on October 31, but was then extended. But while the test was only for Premium users, YouTube reaffirmed last month that it hopes to roll out the feature “in the coming months” to all iOS users in the US, including non-Premium users.
With any luck, the end of YouTube Premium’s picture-in-picture test means Google’s video platform is ready to roll out the feature on a larger scale. Last month, the search giant brought picture-in-picture support to its YouTube TV service on iOS. Hopefully mainstream YouTube isn’t too far behind.