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