iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV owners who upgrade to iOS, iPadOS 14, and tvOS respectively, will benefit from a fantastic new feature that wasn’t even mentioned during Apple’s WWDC 2020 keynote – YouTube content streaming in full 4K.
Apple’s streaming box is popular all over the globe but it has been the cause of frustration for many users who love to consume content via the YouTube platform.
Right now, the hardware and software combination of Apple TV and tvOS only allows users to stream content in 1080p as Apple doesn’t support the underlying VP9 codec that makes 4K 2160p streaming possible via YouTube.
Apple didn’t talk about the impending improvement during WWDC but the Apple TV 4K preview page gives a small insight into what’s about to come when tvOS 14 is released later this year, listed alongside the iconic YouTube icon:
Watch the latest YouTube videos in their full 4K glory. Your favorite music, slo‑mo, outdoor, and vlog footage never looked better.
At the time of writing, it’s unsure as to whether Apple has had a change of heart and will support the existing format or if YouTube has made changes on its own side to ensure that Apple TV owners get the very best YouTube experience.
Additionally, iPhone and iPad owners who are currently running the iOS 14 beta have started to notice that they are receiving 4K-quality videos when consuming YouTube. Those users are reportedly seeing the 2160p option on their devices with compatible videos via YouTube, which suggests that Apple is now decoding the Vp9 codec and bringing that option to all of its platforms.
Whatever the reason, it’s going to be a welcome change for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV owners. Historically, Mac owners have been able to simply adopt a different browser, such as Chrome or Firefox, to get 4K videos streaming on YouTube via a Mac. But that wasn’t an option on Apple’s other platforms.
There is currently no word why this change was put in place but it’s definitely going to be a welcome change to Apple users who consume YouTube on a regular basis. Let’s hope that it stays in place between now and the final release.
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