Introducing YouTube “enhanced” 1080p HD video quality for Premium subscribers – but this is only available on iOS at the moment, with the option coming to the web soon. According to YouTubethe new 1080p Premium option is “an enhanced bitrate version of 1080p” that’s supposed to make things look sharper, especially with high-detail, high-motion video.
If this all sounds familiar, it’s because YouTube started testing this feature earlier this year and worried that the company would nerf the existing 1080p option for non-subscribers. Fortunately, the standard 1080p option isn’t going anywhere, not even for Premium members.
You will still be able to use the standard 1080p option on videos (even those with 1080p Premium). Not all videos will have the 1080p Premium option either, as YouTube says you won’t see it on videos uploaded at resolutions higher or lower than 1080p, Shorts, or in live streams.
Although I don’t have YouTube Premium, I’m curious what is the difference between 1080p and 1080p Premium. Like my former colleague Mitchell Clark pointed out at the time of the test, a lot goes into making the videos look good, but an improved bitrate should, in theory, make them look better because they contain more information per pixel.
Along with this benefit, YouTube revealed a handful of other features coming to Premium, including the ability for iOS users to watch videos with friends and family using FaceTime via SharePlay. The platform already offers a similar feature on Android, as it allows subscribers to use Google Meet to co-watch videos with other people, whether they pay Premium or not.
There’s also a handy new Premium feature that lets you pick up where you left off on videos on Android, iOS, and the platform’s desktop site. This seems especially useful if you’re watching something on your phone and want to blast it onto a bigger screen, like your laptop. But it also feels nice to be able to continue watching something on the go if you started watching it on your computer, and vice versa.
Additionally, YouTube is extending its Premium Queuing feature to phones and tablets, allowing you to create a list of videos you want to watch next. It also deploys the smart downloads feature, he started testing Last year. This automatically adds recommended videos to your library when you’re connected to Wi-Fi, allowing you to watch them when you’re offline. While it seems useful when you’re on a plane or traveling without service and forget to download videos ahead of time, it seems like it could be a bit of a storage hog if you don’t turn it off.