How to use Picture in Picture on your iPhone with iOS 14

How to use Picture in Picture on your iPhone with iOS 14
The latest version of Apple’s iOS was officially announced at this year’s WWDC and it brings some much-requested features to iPhones. One of the best ones among them is Picture in Picture, a feature that's been on iPads for a long time but just now reaches iPhones. The name is quite self-explanatory but for those of you that aren’t familiar with the concept from other devices, here’s a quick explanation.

What is picture-in-picture?

One of the biggest criticisms iOS gets is that it doesn’t allow for “true” multitasking using a split-screen view or any other means to have two apps running simultaneously on your iPhone's display. Android phones have had split-screen and pop-up apps and videos for years, and now Apple is providing that experience on iPhones in its own way.

For the time being, Picture in Picture only works for one thing -- videos, but that will be enough to cover most of what users wanted to do with split-screen anyway. With this feature, you’ll be able to watch videos in a floating “bubble” that stays on top of any other app you’re using on your iPhone: Instagram, Twitter, Messages, you name it!

So far, Picture in Picture has been demonstrated to work with video sources that are coming from Apple’s own apps: Safari, iTunes, Podcasts, Face Time. But Apple has prepared a PiP API for iOS developers, so we’ll likely see it on other apps soon enough. 

Sounds great, doesn’t it? So, how can you start using it?

How to use Picture in Picture on iPhone with iOS 14

In a typical Apple fashion, the new feature just works! This means there’s no need to dive into the Settings menus and look for a toggle to turn on. There is a toggle, but Picture in Picture is turned on by default, so you'll only use it if you want to turn it off for some reason.

All you have to do is have a video playing on your iPhone and swipe up from the bottom of the screen. Whether you're going to the home screen or switching to another app, the video will pop up in its own bubble and continue playing as if nothing happened.

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After that, you can freely move the video around or resize it using pinch-to-zoom. Of course, you can also play and pause the video without having to go back to its originating app.

One of the best features of Apple’s implementation of picture-in-picture is that you can swipe the video to either side of the screen and it will disappear without pausing the audio. A small tab shows up instead that you can use to drag the video back to your screen. 

Check the Picture in Picture demo from Apple's presentation below:

Video Thumbnail

Unlike some of the other new features, Picture in Picture will completely change the way some people use their iPhones. Being able to watch a video while texting with a friend is a game-changer. Yes, Android users will laugh about how Apple is so slow to add this feature, but the important part is that it’s here (or at least will be in a few months for most users).

How to use Picture in Picture with YouTube

Picture in Picture works with YouTube right now, bu only if you open it from the Safari browser. There's another caveat that we've noticed, however; YouTube PiP only works if your account has YouTube Premium active on it. Hopefully, by the time iOS 14 rolls out officially, the YouTube app will support the new feature no matter the status of your account.

Which iPhones will get Picture in Picture?

As it should be abundantly clear by know, you'll be able to use Picture in Picture only after your iPhone is updated to iOS 14. If you're still rocking an older iPhone, you're probably worried that you might miss out on this awesome feature. Well, Apple announced that the iPhone 6S will be the oldest model that will get iOS 14.  The original iPhone SE will be updated to iOS 14 as well, but using Picture in Picture on its tiny display probably won't be the best experience. 

If you want to get iOS 14 now, you'll have to install the beta version, otherwise, you'll have to wait until the official launch. Traditionally, the new version of iOS is released alongside the new iPhones, which for iOS 14 means the iPhone 12 launch that's expected in late September. 

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