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How to Play YouTube in the Background on iPad (iOS 6.1)

User Laser sent us a question below.

Some of you may know, YouTube videos don’t play in the background of an app or tab on iPad and iPhone. There is a workaround to this in iOS 6.1 by switching tabs/apps, pressing the power button, power button again, lock screen controls, play, success. But this is lengthy. I thought someone might have made a tweak workaround, anyone heard of anything?

It’s unclear whether this is a deliberate change in iOS 6.1 or simply a bug that may be resolved in a future update, but there are fortunately a few ways around this, for now at least. The simplest solution is to look to third-party free apps such as Jasmine  or McTube , which works fine to keep playing audio in the background. Here’s how to play YouTube in the background on iPad with Jasmine. You might also like: How to download YouTube videos to your iPad or iPad mini.

STEP 1. Go to the App Store on your device and search for Jasmine. If you just search for Jasmine you might not find the right app. Install it, and then tap Open once it’s ready.

STEP 2. Tap on a video from the list of search results and you’ll see another screen where you can play the video. Tap on Play Video and it will begin to play.

STEP 3. Tap your home button to return to the home screen, and then double-tap to bring up the list of running apps. Swipe to the right to see the playback controls, and you’ll see Jasmine’s app icon. If your device is running iOS 6.0, tap on the Play button to continue listening to the audio.

STEP 4. If you’re running iOS 6.1, you’ll notice that tapping the play button in step 3 doesn’t work. This is frustrating, but you can still play audio from Jasmine. Tap the power button on your device to turn it off, then tap it again to wake it up. Now double-tap the home button to bring up the playback controls. Tap play and the audio from Jasmine will continue playing. NOTE: This trick does not work with Google’s YouTube app – audio continues playing from the native Music app.

STEP 5. Back in Jasmine, go to the main menu by pressing Back a couple of times. Tap the cog and you’ll see a host of options. Parental controls are available only in the Pro version which costs £1.49. Under appearance you’ll find a night mode and a brightness control.

Alternatively, if you’re using a jailbroken device, there’s actually a Flex tweak available that will enable background playback on the standard Google YouTube app. Since this leverages Google’s official YouTube app, it’s unlikely that the app itself would lose access to the YouTube API, and it’s otherwise considerably more difficult to block this behaviour on a jailbroken device. The downside, of course, is that you have to jailbreak your device, with all of the additional hassle that entails.