How to Use Picture-in-Picture on iPhone

How to Use Picture-in-Picture on iPhone
iPhone user watching video picture-in-picture
Khamosh Pathak

For a couple of years now, the iPad had the ability to play videos in picture-in-picture mode. Once you upgrade to iOS 14 or higher, your iPhone gains the feature as well. It works with media apps, YouTube (via Safari), and even for FaceTime calls.

Use Picture-in-Picture for Supported Apps on iPhone

All of the media apps that already supported picture-in-picture mode on the iPad work out of the box on your iPhone running iOS 14 or higher. And now that the feature is available on the iPhone, we expect to see more media and video conferencing apps to add the feature.

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For now, popular apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime support the feature. YouTube’s app doesn’t, but more on that later.

If you’ve used picture-in-picture mode on the iPad, you’ll be familiar with the process. Open an app like Netflix and start playing a movie or TV show. Then, during playback, swipe up from the Home bar (the bottom of the screen). If you’re using an iPhone with a Home button, press the Home button instead.

Swipe up from playing media

You’ll now see your iPhone’s home screen as the video continues to play in a small media player window.

Resize picture in picture window

You can now pinch and zoom on the window to make it larger or smaller. You can also swipe the window to the left or the right edge of the screen to hide the video player. The audio will continue to play in the background.

To bring the picture-in-picture window back, tap the “Arrow” icon.

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Use arrow to maximize floating window

Tapping on the picture-in-picture window reveals additional options. From here, you can play or pause the video and skip forward and backward.

To go back to the full-screen mode, tap the “Picture-in-Picture” button found in the top-right corner of the window. And if you want to stop the playback altogether, tap the “Close” button in the top left.

Tap Close or picture in picture button from Netflix

FaceTime also supports picture-in-picture mode and it works in the same manner. During a video call, go to the Home screen to continue the call in a small picture-in-picture window.

Use Picture-in-Picture for YouTube (and Other Websites)

While YouTube Premium on Android supports picture-in-picture, YouTube just doesn’t offer the feature to iPhone and iPad users. But don’t worry, the Safari workaround for iPad works on the iPhone as well.

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You can use Safari to play the YouTube video in the native video player, which does offer picture-in-picture functionality. This feature will also work for other web media players that work with Safari’s native video player.

First, visit YouTube’s website and then start playing a video. From there, tap the “Fullscreen” button.

Tap Fullscreen button from YouTube

You’ll notice that YouTube’s media player is gone and is replaced by Apple’s own video player. Now you can tap the “Picture-in-Picture” button to quickly enable the feature. Or you can swipe up from the Home bar (or press the “Home” button on older devices) to engage the picture-in-picture mode.

Swipe up from YouTube Safari player

Once you’re in the picture-in-picture mode, it’s business as usual. You’ll find the same options for moving the player window and hiding the floating window.

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You can now continue to use other apps while the YouTube video plays in the floating window. Once you’re done, you can tap the “Close” button to exit the player or you can tap the “Picture-in-Picture” button to go back to the fullscreen mode.

Close YouTube picture in picture on iPhone

Once your iPhone is running iOS 14 or higher, make sure you try out the new Home screen widgets!

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Lucila is a freelance writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to study new things. She enjoys checking out the latest grammar books and writing about video games more than anything else. If she's not running through Colorado’s breathtaking landscape, she's indoors hidden away in her cozy game room trolling noobs and leveling up an RPG character. She is a Final Fantasy IX apologist (although she loves them all… except XV), coffee aficionado, and a bit of a health nut. Lucila graduated from Western Kentucky University with a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing.

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