Android O has a new PIP feature. It’s supposed to be working right now on the Android O beta but it isn’t. It’s also an experimental feature in the System UI Tuner so it may or may not make it to the stable release. PIP isn’t a new or novel concept. It’s been around for ages. Safari has PIP mode on macOS. The Movies & TV app in Windows 10 has a neat mini view mode which is essentially the same thing. Float Tube is a free, ad-supported Android app that lets get YouTube PIP mode on Android right now. You don’t need the Android O beta on your device or anything like that.
Install Float Tube. This app is a YouTube app i.e., you can use it to browser and watch videos on YouTube. It’s not an add-on for the official YouTube app and will work separately from it.
Enter YouTube PIP Mode
Open Float Tube and search for a video you want to watch. Tap to play it. By default, Float Tube plays videos in a floating little window. Once the video starts to play, you can exit the app. The video will remain on your screen in a smaller frame. You can drag it around and position it anywhere by tapping and holding on the app badge above the video.
The tiny floating video has three sizes. A small size that is half as wide as your screen, a wider size that spans across the width of your screen, and a full screen size. You can switch between these sizes from the floating window.
Exit YouTube PIP Mode
To return to the app, tap the play button on the floating window. To close the floating overlay, drag and drop the app’s floating icon on to the close button to exit YouTube PIP mode.
Float Tube is an okay, alternative for the YouTube PIP mode coming in Android O. It’s not going to beat the default feature though because as a YouTube app, it’s limited. You’re still going to want to use the official YouTube app.
The great thing about Float Tube is that its ads are not intrusive. You’ll see an ad once or twice when you play a video but that’s about it. It doesn’t impede video playback and it doesn’t put ads on your home screen.
Float Tube can loop the video you’re playing. Just tap the loop button and it will play the same video on repeat until you close it. This is something you can’t do with the default YouTube app even though you can loop YouTube videos on the web.