One of YouTube's best paid features is now free for Android Oreo phones

Only in the United States, though, and not for music videos.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister

YouTube's picture-in-picture mode on Android Oreo.

Screenshots by Sean Hollister/CNET

Okay, maybe it's not the best feature. Perhaps you'd rather have something else. 

But I think it's pretty nifty that, starting today, I can keep watching a YouTube video in the corner of my screen while doing other things on my phone. I hit play on a video, press the Home button, and keep watching while I surf and browse.

That's because YouTube has just made its picture-in-picture mode free in the United States for any smartphone running Android Oreo and up -- instead of requiring you to pay $12 a month for a subscription to YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red).

YouTube is still keeping plenty of other features behind the paywall, mind you, including an ad-free YouTube browsing experience, offline playback, premium video and music selections, and the ability to listen to music with your screen turned off.

Speaking of which, music is also the exception to the new picture in picture rule -- if you try to play a music video and hit the home button, it'll just disappear as of now.