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A change for the better: YouTube finally supports Split View and Slide Over on iPads


Google's YouTube apps for both Android and iOS are not famous for allowing the user to do much with their device while a video is playing. Minimizing the app or putting one's device to sleep will always result in the pausing of playback. This is done, of course, to curb attempts to use YouTube as a free source of music on one's mobile, and to keep them actually looking at the app, showing them ads and drawing their attention to more suggested videos to watch. Fair enough, this is what pays the bills for YouTube to run but, sometimes, one needs to legitimately jump out of the app to respond to a text, do a quick web search, or whatever else, and this usually results in stop of video playback, which is pretty annoying, especially so on iOS, where until recently, pulling the Control Center, Notifications shade, or the iPad's Slide Over menu would also pause YouTube.

Thankfully, the latter issue was fixed a couple of months ago – nowadays, if you pull up the Control Center for a quick brightness adjustment, drop down the notifications shade to check on your messages, or pull in the Slide Over drawer on an iPad, YouTube will not stop its video playback. However, the more advanced functions, featured on the iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro, such as Split View and Picture-in-Picture are still not supported by YouTube's official app, which has users looking for alternative players that do allow for these modes.

Well, the official YouTube app has been updated yesterday and, while there's no word on Picture-in-Picture support, we are happy to say that it now fully allows for Slide Over and Split View. If you're not clear on what the differences between these two are – here's a quick recap:

  • Slide Over is the “poor man's multitasking” window. It's supported by iPad mini 2 and up, iPad Air and up. It doesn't allow for two apps to run simultaneously on the screen. Instead, it allows you to pull in a secondary app from the side of the screen, for quick peek-in peek-out actions. While the Slide Over drawer is open, the full-screen app gets dimmed and remains inactive until the former is closed. The recent YouTube update allows the app to be placed in the small slide-in drawer.

  • Split View is the true multitasking, which allows apps to run simultaneously side by side. It's supported by iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2, and the iPad Pros. In order for an app to support Split View, however, it needs to be allowed by the developer. In the case of YouTube, Google has just now allowed users to use the app in this manner. So, you can view your videos and reply to emails at the same time.

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