On the YouTube app for smartphones there is a really cool Picture-in-Picture mode that lets you watch a YouTube video even while browsing YouTube. However, this feature isn’t available on YouTube’s web client, so you just have to say goodbye to the current video if you need to browse for another one.
Thankfully, you can still use an extension for the PC version of Chrome to get this feature on YouTube for Web. In this post, we will introduce two extensions for Chrome that will help you use Picture-in-Picture mode in YouTube for Web.
YouTube™ Picture in Picture
We are going to start with something simpler that just gets the job done smoothly. The YouTube™ Picture in Picture extension is created to replicate the Picture-in-Picture mode offered in the official YouTube app for smartphones. The extension is extremely simple and doesn’t require any manual intervention.
Just enable the extension in Chrome and play any video on YouTube. When you browse for another video using the search bar, the current video will move to the bottom right corner of the window instead of stopping.
The player offers you the buttons to control the volume, Play/Pause and launch it fullscreen. There are three more buttons on the top of the video player that will let you close the video, increase the size of the player and go back to the actual page of the video playing. While playing video in both small and large size, I found video content to be quite visible, so you should have no problem watching the video while browsing.
Note: the extension is still in its beta stage, so you may face bugs while using it. The developers are working hard to get all the bugs fixed, and you can also contact them if you find any bugs.
This isn’t actually made to replicate the Picture-in-Picture mode of the YouTube smartphone app, but its job is similar, and it comes with some cool extra features. Sideplayer™ adds a button in the YouTube video player that will let you play the current video in the Sideplayer video player. When you click on the button, Sideplayer will open the video in a tiny video player at the top right corner of the window.
The player is borrowed from YouTube and comes with ability to play/pause, play next, adjust volume, adjust playback speed, select quality, and turn Autoplay on/off, and it also has a nice opacity slider to adjust the player’s transparency. You are free to drag the player anywhere you like, and you can even play other YouTube videos alongside it.
The groundbreaking feature of Sideplayer is its ability to play the video over any tab or website. The video player will keep running the video if you move away from YouTube or even close it. This is handy in many situations, like following instructions from a YouTube video without needing to switch back to the YouTube interface every second.
Sideplayer does come with some handy features, but it is also quite heavy compared to YouTube™ Picture in Picture. For me, it took approximately two to three seconds before starting a video and lagged in the first two seconds of playing the video. Overall, it’s a great extension with some amazing features, but you will have to survive through the delays.
If you are looking to add the YouTube smartphone app’s Picture-in-Picture mode in Chrome for PC, then YouTube™ Picture in Picture will do a great job. Although, if you are looking for some extra features and customization options, then Sideplayer™ is a good option. I personally liked the YouTube™ Picture in Picture’s simple and smooth approach; at least I won’t have to clench my teeth every time I have to play a YouTube video in Picture-in-Picture mode.
Which one of these extensions did you like? Share with us in the comments below.