Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode is a massive iOS 14 addition to the iPhone that lets you watch videos without interruption while using other apps. It was available on the iPad for years, but that doesn’t make PiP on the iPhone any less exciting. On the contrary, it’s even better as you can now get the most out of the iPhone’s smaller screen size.
However, both the iPhone and iPad require apps that support picture-in-picture for the feature to work. Fortunately, a lot of apps do. To the example, Apple TV automatically switches to PiP when it closes. Same goes for FaceTime, where you can continue video calls even when switching apps.
For certain apps that don’t support the functionality, you can use the iPhone’s native Safari browser as a workaround (more on that later).
How does the picture-in-picture mode work
On the iPhone or iPad, exit the home screen while watching a video in a supported app and the picture-in-picture area should pop up automatically. You can also tap the PiP icon in the video area (top left of the screen) in certain apps to activate the function. In addition, you can tap a video with two fingers to bring up the PiP area.
Start using another app and the picture-in-picture area will continue to play at the top. You can move the picture-in-picture area to any of the four corners of the screen and double-tap the video area to switch between three different sizes – small, medium, and large. You can also hide the area by sliding it to a corner of the screen – you will still hear the sound.
To exit picture-in-picture mode, tap the PiP icon in the video area – this should automatically open the video in the corresponding app. Alternatively, you can exit the picture-in-picture area by tapping the close symbol – you can then continue the video at any time by manually calling up the corresponding app.
Apps that support picture-in-picture mode
Starting with iOS 14, native apps such as Apple TV, FaceTime and Safari offer built-in support for picture-in-picture mode. Popular third-party apps that support the functionality include Hulu and Netflix.
You can always check whether an app supports picture-in-picture mode – either by returning to the home screen while a video is playing, tapping the PiP icon in the video area or double-tapping with two fingers.
If the video is not displayed in picture-in-picture mode, the app probably does not support the feature. You may want to keep an eye on the release notes in future updates to see if it eventually supports picture-in-picture mode.
At the time of writing, YouTube does not support picture-in-picture. However, you can load instead YouTube Start playing a video in Safari, switch to full screen mode, and then exit the home screen to activate PiP mode. Not the most convenient, but useful nonetheless. This workaround may work for other streaming services that provide a working web player.
Activate the automatic picture-in-picture mode
If your iPhone or iPad doesn’t automatically open videos in picture-in-picture mode when exiting the home screen, the feature is likely disabled on your device. Follow the steps below to turn it on.
Step 1: First, open the Settings app. Then tap General> Picture-in-Picture.
Step 2: On the following screen, activate the switch next to Start PiP automatically.
Now try exiting the home screen while watching a video in an app like Apple TV or. play Netflix- It should automatically appear in a PiP window.
If your iPad is running iPadOS 13 or iOS 12, go to General> Home Screen & Dock> Multitasking to access the Auto Start PiP button.
Turn off picture-in-picture mode
Despite its usefulness, you may find the picture-in-picture mode a chore. If you want to prevent the PiP video area from following you when you quit apps, you should turn off the automatic PiP feature.
To do this, go to Settings> General> Picture-in-Picture and turn off the switch next to Start PiP automatically.
Picture-in-picture mode completely changes the way you experience videos on your iPhone. If your favorite app doesn’t support the functionality, don’t worry – it probably will soon as soon as iOS 14 gains more traction . Don’t forget to use Safari (like you did with YouTube) to watch videos in PiP mode for the time being.
The smart stack of widgets is another fascinating feature in iOS 14. Click the link for the next article to learn how to add or edit it.