How to use iOS 9's picture-in-picture feature with YouTube

PipTube is a new app that aims to fix Google's YouTube lack of picture-in-picture on the iPad.

Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read
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An example of a YouTube video being played in iOS 9's picture-in-picture feature via PipTube.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

When Apple announced iOS 9 for the iPad, the company revealed a a new picture-in-picture mode. Thanks to the new feature, users are able to minimize supported videos and continue watching them while multitasking on the iPad.

When minimized, the video will resemble a FaceTime window that you can move around and resize with a familiar pinch-to-zoom gesture.

That said, app developers have to include the new feature in their apps. While companies such as Hulu and HBO have updated their iPad apps with proper support, YouTube has not. And it's frustrating for anyone who frequently uses YouTube.

Naturally, a developer has created a workaround to make up for YouTube's lack of compatibility. The app, PipTube, essentially acts as a YouTube player with the added benefit of allowing for picture-in-picture mode.

Once installed, you'll need to add PipTube to the Today widget on your iPad. Doing so will allow for you to quickly open a copied YouTube link within the app. You can follow the instructions in this post if you're unsure how to add a widget.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Upon initial launch, PipTube will play a tutorial video showing you the quickest way to use the app. Here's the text version:

  • When you find a video in the YouTube app tap on the share button, then Copy Link.
  • Next, slide down Notification Center from the top of your iPad's screen, and tap on the PipTube widget (pictured below) which should have a link that starts with "Watch Video:" followed by the name of your video.
  • The app will then open, giving you the option to enable picture-in-picture mode.
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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Sure, the ideal solution would be for the YouTube app to support the feature, but until that day comes (if it ever does), PipTube provides a reliable solution.

PipTube is available in the App Store for $1.99/AU$2.99/£1.49.