Youtube blocks iOS 14’s PiP mode for non-Premium users

iOS 14, now rolling out, added native Picture in Picture abilities to videos on the iPhone.

In apps, this needs to be actively supported by developers, but for web video users simply needed to press the PiP button.

This allowed iOS14 users to access a feature YouTube Premium users had to pay for  – the ability to keep a video playing when using another app, allowing users to listen to music for example while doing something else on their phone.

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For a very brief period, iPhone users were able to take advantage of this loophole, but after only a day AppleInsider reports that Google has blocked the feature. The feature continues to work on the iPad and on embedded YouTube videos.

In theory, as a platform owner, Apple could make it impossible to block PiP mode, but I suspect Apple is more than happy to collect 30% of Google’s YouTube Premium iOS subscription fees instead.

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