After Netflix, My most favorite past time is watching youtube videos, and since I am a Youtube Premium subscriber, its Ad-free and Supports Picture in Picture (PiP) and even background play on my android phone or even iPhone which lets me listen to interviews or even songs on the go without having to worry about the visuals.
I recently bought an Android TV and I was curious about whether or not youtube premium features work on Android TV as well?
Once you subscribe to Youtube Premium on the account linked to Android TV, you can watch Ad-free youtube on Android TV but what about the PIP feature? Well PIP and Background play are unavailable.
Well, that’s a bummer, right? Why pay for premium for only Ad-free Youtube and Youtube originals which frankly no one cares about?
Well let’s fix it, let’s see How to Enable Picture in Picture Mode with Youtube Premium on Android TV.
Enable Picture in Picture (PiP) Mode on Android TV
Essentially the workaround is pretty simple, use the youtube mobile app on the android tv and you will get the feature up and running. But in reality, things can prove to be a bit tricky. To get rid of all the confusion let’s quickly have a look at the steps.
Step 1. Download the Youtube for Android App :
To get Youtube premium Picture in Picture running on your Android TV, you have to first download the native youtube app that comes pre-installed on any android phone. Make sure it’s the latest version that supports PIP.
To download youtube for Mobile you can either push the apk via WiFi File transfer app or download it via third-party app stores like Aptoide TV. To know all the ways you can sideload apps on your Android TV or streaming box click here.
Step 2. Find the Youtube App inside the Sideload launcher :
So installing the app, hmm sounds easy right? but for most cases, Android TVs or even modern Android TV boxes like the Nvidia Shield or Mi box S do not allow their stock launcher to show sideloaded apps that are not meant for the TV. The reason for this is simple, Experience. This avoids the users mindlessly install all the apps on your TV and later on tinkering with the mouse and Keyboard.
The restriction can be removed by using either a third-party launcher (we’ll be doing a post on the best third party launcher for android tv soon) or a simple one-click launcher like sideload launcher for android TV.
To get started, download sideload launcher from the Play Store and open it from the All Apps section of the Android TV.
once in, you will be able to see all the apps installed on the TV including 2 youtube apps. The differentiation here is simple. The one with the white border is the sideloaded one and we’ll be using the same for this workaround.
Step 3. Setup the Eco-system for the app to run properly.
So the Youtube mobile app is up and running now and you can use the remote by default to navigate, but in some situations, you have to navigate using a mouse cursor as this youtube is not meant to be working on the TV.
The ideal way out apart from connecting a physical mouse to the TV is using the Mouse Toggle app to emulate a cursor.
Just download the Mouse Toggle App from the Android TV play store and activate its service.
Once done now you will be able to use your remote navigation buttons as a mouse cursor just by pressing the Volume – plus Volume + buttons.
By using Mouse toggle you will be able to navigate through Youtube.
Step 4. Youtube PiP in Action on Android TV.
Once you follow all the above steps, you will now be able to use the Youtube mobile app on your Android TV. To Trigger The Picture in Picture mode, Play any video and press the home button and the video gets shrunk into a PiP window on the bottom right.
To maximize the video back to Full-screen. Navigate to the home screen and find the background play toast there. Hit open and then hit Fullscreen.
Final words: Enable Youtube Premium PiP ( Picture In Picture) on Android TV
So that’s how you use the Youtube PiP on the android tv if you have subscribed to Youtube premium already. The process is a bit complicated at first but I was hooked to the PiP window functionality as soon as I discovered this. I found myself using it very often to browse for the Netflix series I’ll be binging at night while listening to some nice discussions in PiP. I hope YouTube brings this feature along with background play natively on the Android TV app as well, but till then this trick should hold up.
Comments? Suggestions? Do let me know in the comment section below.