Ever wish you could keep listening to your favorite YouTube video in the background while using other apps on your iPhone?
Well, you can, if you pay for a subscription to YouTube Premium. But do you ever wish you could listen to your favorite YouTube video in the background for free?
Enter iOS 14, which will let you do just that. Apple for iOS 14 at its Worldwide Developers Conference 2020 on Monday. From widgets on your home screen and revamped call notifications to in-line message replies and mentions, with so much Apple news, everyone was bound to overlook some of the side effects of all these new features.
Case in point: the new iOS 14 picture-in-picture feature. You can now get other work done on your iPhone or iPad while keeping that video you were watching open in a little thumbnail-sized floating window that you can move anywhere on the screen. Cool, right?
Social media strategist Matt Navarra noticed something even cooler about it. You can use that picture-in-picture feature with YouTube videos opened via the Safari web browser app. The floating YouTube video can even be pushed off-screen and voilà, you’re playing your favorite YouTube music video in the background as if it was a music app.
You can even keep listening to the picture-in-picture video when you lock your iPhone screen.
Note that you cannot do picture-in-picture with the YouTube app. To listen to YouTube videos in the background, you must open the video within Safari. Why is that? Because YouTube uses the ability to play videos in the background as a major selling point for its YouTube Premium subscription.
Music is huge on YouTube. A found that nearly half of all the internet’s music streaming consumption already occurs on the video platform. Background video play built into iOS 14 can make YouTube an even more popular choice for music listening.
This iOS feature isn’t a complete YouTube Premium replacement. Paying subscribers also get video download capabilities for offline viewing and an ad-free experience. However, if background play is a major reason why you’re paying $11.99 a month for YouTube Premium, you may be able to save a few bucks and use this workaround instead.