Picture-in-picture mode (PIP), simply put, is opening content like videos in a floating bubble window that’s usable and easily dismissable without interfering with the main content on the screen. You may have heard by now that Android’s O release is set to bring systemwide support for picture-in-picture mode. This means developers can choose to implement PIP in any their apps that display video without much effort.
Unfortunately, it was later revealed that this feature came with a caveat. PIP mode is only accessible to YouTube users if they are active subscribers of the YouTube RED membership. If you didn’t already know, YouTube RED is a membership for a video streaming service that also comes bundled with its own music streaming solution that’s powered by YouTube.
One of the main advantages of subscribing to RED is the ability to block mobile & desktop YouTube ads completely. Another advantage is being able to listen to just the videos in the background after exiting the app. Since YouTube RED is limited to very few countries without a tentative launch date for a wider rollout, it’s pretty hard for the majority to access these two features.
Play YouTube Videos in Floating Window (PIP) with Background Playback without YouTube RED
The app Newpipe aims to solve this conundrum by implementing both features in a lightweight and easy to use package. Even though PIP is technically not available in any version of Android below O, the app brings floating window by using Android’s permission to draw over other apps. You can download Newpipe from various sources due to its surging popularity but I would recommend using APK Mirror or F- Droid because of its reliability and diligent security checks.
How to Open Videos in Picture-In-Picture (PIP) Mode:
If you’re in the YouTube app and want to take the video in floating mode, press the share button and select Newpipe popup mode.
In case you stumble upon a YouTube link anywhere else, press the link and you’ll be presented with a list of options for opening the video. Select the same Newpipe popup option and it’ll launch directly in a floating window where you can change the video quality or expand it back to full screen.
How to Use Audio Background Playback Even if the Screen is Locked:
- Open Newpipe and search for any video.
- Click on the video to open it. Once the window opens, select the Background button to start audio playback. The audio can be controlled from the notifications just like you would any other music app.
That’s all. Now, even if your screen has turned off or you have locked your phone, you can still hear audio from the YouTube video.
We’ve seen a zillion different apps to download videos and just to be clear, there’s not much to say when it comes to persuading you to switch from your already favourite app to Newpipe. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Newpipe can do that too for you if needed and does it well by including multi-threaded downloading and did I mention it’s really snappy to use?