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How to use iPhone picture-in-picture in iOS 14

iphone picture-in-picture
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Among iOS 14's laundry list of new features for iPhone owners is picture-in-picture support. With picture-in-picture, you'll be able to watch video in a small window on top of whatever else you're doing — be it scrolling through social media or messaging a friend.

Picture-in-picture is already live in the iOS 14 beta, though at the moment, it's quite limited in terms of the applications it supports. As it stands, you can only use the feature with the built-in TV app; Safari doesn't yet support it, let alone a third-party app such as YouTube.

Hopefully Apple will expand its usefulness in the future, because the company's solution for picture-in-picture really is quite clever. Here's a guide for how to use iPhone picture in picture on iOS 14, and how to get the most out of it. Bear in mind as you look at the images that follow that Apple blocks content playing via picture in picture when capturing screenshots for digital rights management reasons, so the gray rectangle is actually the picture-in-picture window.

How to open and control iPhone picture-in-picture on iOS 14

how to use iOS 14 picture-in-picture

(Image credit: Future)

1. Picture-in-picture is on by default in iOS 14. Start it simply by leaving a supported app where content is already playing, like TV. The window will appear in the upper right corner, but you are free to drag it around.

how to use iOS 14 picture-in-picture

(Image credit: Future)

2. If you want to resize the window, simply pinch or expand with two fingers.

how to use iOS 14 picture-in-picture

(Image credit: Future)

3. To access playback controls, tap the window. In addition to play/pause and skip functions, you'll see an icon to close the window in the upper left, and an icon to return to the app playing the video in the upper right.

how to use iOS 14 picture-in-picture

(Image credit: Future)

4. iOS 14 allow you to swipe picture-in-picture video off the screen edge, in case you want to listen to video but not actually see it. To do this, drag the window to the side of the display.

how to use iOS 14 picture-in-picture

(Image credit: Future)

5. Once the picture-in-picture window is tucked away at the side, you'll see a pull-out tab with an arrow, indicating you can pull the window back out to see content again. You can also drag the content up and down the side of the screen in case it blocks something else.

How to stop iPhone picture in picture from starting automatically

how to use iOS 14 picture-in-picture

(Image credit: Future)

1. To make it so that picture-in-picture is optional, rather than automatically appearing every time you exit an app playing video, start by opening the Settings app.

how to use iOS 14 picture-in-picture

(Image credit: Future)

2. Scroll down and tap the General submenu.

how to use iOS 14 picture-in-picture

(Image credit: Future)

3. Tap Picture in Picture.

how to use iOS 14 picture-in-picture

(Image credit: Future)

4. Toggle Start PiP automatically to turn off picture-in-picture. Now, when you're in a supported app like Apple TV, you'll see a separate icon that, when pressed, pops content out into a picture in picture window.