Video-streaming platform YouTube has added a new Miniplayer that makes it possible to browse the streaming platform while still watching content.
The new tool works a lot like the Miniplayer featured in the mobile versions of YouTube. It’s not great for watching videos, but it does mean that users don’t need to open another tab to continue viewing or listening to content while looking for something else to watch.
The update is rolling out now, and both Safari and Chrome on my MacBook have already received the feature. The feature is also available in Chrome for Windows 10.
When users have the update, there’s a new button along the bottom of the playback window. It’s situated right beside the video settings. Hitting the new button shrinks the video down to fit into the bottom right-hand corner of the browser window.
The MiniPlayer’s static, so users can’t move it around the screen like a traditional picture-in-picture window. The Miniplayer’s also locked inside of the YouTube window, making it suitable for browsing videos within YouTube. That said, it doesn’t offer much functionality in the way of letting you watch content while also working on something else.
For example, while watching YouTube in Safari, users can now right-click on a video to play it in a picture-in-picture window that can be re-sized and dragged around the display. Specifically, users must also right-click once to raise YouTube’s contextual menu, then right-click again to open the macOS menu that features Apple’s macOS ‘Picture in Picture’ option.
This feature is handy for playing music if that track is already part of a YouTube playlist. If it is, then the playlist moves through the Miniplayer and users can see what songs are queued up next.
If the songs are not in a playlist already, then it’s still better to play music using the YouTube Music interface since it allows users to add songs to play next and rearrange the queue.