New video resolution settings have started to roll out to YouTube’s Android and iOS apps. YouTube previously provided a list of video resolutions and an Auto option, allowing the app to adjust video quality depending on your Internet connection speed automatically.
However, the video’s Quality menu now only has four options: Auto, Higher picture quality, Data saver, and Advanced. The Auto mode continues to work normally, while the Higher picture quality setting consumes more data to produce a higher-quality stream. Even on a high-speed Wi-Fi connection, the streaming was limited to 720p in our tests.
On the other hand, the data saver consumes less data and can lower the resolution to 480p. Nonetheless, the app continued to stream in 720p in our tests, so we believe that the app can play video in a higher resolution if your Internet connection is fast enough, even if you choose Data saver.
The Advanced menu contains a list of video resolutions for playback. It’s worth mentioning that the changes you make only apply to the current video; however, by going to Settings > Video quality preferences, you can set the default video quality for all videos. Defaults can be set for both cell networks and Wi-Fi networks.
You can’t set a specific resolution as the default for all videos because the Advanced option isn’t available under the Video quality preferences menu.