For some, one of the coolest new features in iOS 14 is the Picture in Picture mode, which previously only existed on the iPad. With it, you can continue watching a video from an app in an interactive floating overlay window on the Home screen or within other apps. But for others, it can be annoying when it appears unexpectedly all the time, and there is a way to stop it.
Let’s say you’m watching a video in full screen mode in an app that supports Picture in Picture. If you no longer want to watch it – whether you want to check your email, chat with someone, browse your home screen or whatever ̵1; your gut reaction may be to close the app while the video is still playing. When you do this, PiP will start automatically.
It will happen in apps like Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Disney +, HBO, Netflix, Hulu and FaceTime, as well as in browsers like Safari, Chrome and Edge. PiP can be a godsend for some when it comes to multitasking, but for others, maybe even you, it can be a distraction when PiP is triggered without you wanting it to be.
Instead of trying to change your habits (stopping the video before exiting the app prevents PiP mode from starting), you can disable PiP from activating when you close an app with a video playing. Then, when you want to use Picture in Picture, you have to activate it manually on your iPhone.
How picture in picture works
To repeat, Picture in Picture works automatically in iOS 14.0 and later on all iPhones that support the operating system. To start it, play a video in any compatible media player. Then you can either press the PiP button in the player’s controls (if available) or close the app (swipe up on Face ID models or use the home button) while the content is still playing.
A floating overlay window continues to play the video, which you can then move around the screen. You can also resize it by squeezing or exiting the window or double-clicking it. On the PiP overlay, you will find buttons to pause the video, return to full screen, and close the window. To hide it but still here, just swipe the window left or right from the screen.
Disable image-by-frame operation automatically
Open the Settings app, tap “General” and then select “Picture in Picture”. By default, “Start PiP automatically” is enabled, so turn off the power to prevent it from happening all the time. That’s all there is to it.
How PiP works when autoplay is disabled
With “Start PiP automatically” disabled, give it a try. When you try to leave a supported app while playing a video, the video will stop and no floating overlay will appear – just like in previous versions of iOS.
Manually enable frame-by-frame video for videos
Picture-in-picture is not completely disabled, just from starting automatically. Now, whenever you do To watch a video in PiP mode, you need to release it manually. When playing a video, just press the PiP button, which looks like a minimization icon. It enables PiP and lets you leave the app while watching the video in the floating overlay.
The PiP button in a player may look different depending on the app developer. For example, Apple TV, HBO Max and Vudu all have different PiP icons.
However, some third-party apps that support PiP mode in iOS 14 omit the PiP button from their players. For example, Netflix hides control in its player. So you may need to switch “Start PiP automatically” temporarily in these cases. If it still does not work in the app after that, the app either never supported PiP mode or it removed the support for it.
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