YouTube Premium Users Get Support For SharePlay, Improved 1080p Streaming On iOS

For serial YouTube viewers, the ability to dodge countless ads is reason enough to consider subscribing to Premium, but new benefits are constantly popping up. From background playback to accessing exclusive original content, some are happy to pay the $11.99 monthly subscription.

If you're on iOS, YouTube has announced two big reasons to consider signing up. YouTube Premium users on the platform now get access to Live Sharing, a recent feature allowing friends on Android to join a Google Meet chat and watch YouTube videos together, perfectly in sync. Only Premium members can host these sessions; free members can join if invited. This feature was first rolled out for Android users, but the iPhone faithful can finally join the fun too. The best part is that it's available within FaceTime using the SharePlay feature, so you won't need to convince anyone to download extra apps.

YouTube has also announced a new 1080p video quality option that uses an enhanced bitrate compared to the standard setting. The company was testing the feature as early as February 2023.

With an increased bitrate, YouTube says certain videos will playback with better visual fidelity. The effect should be especially noticeable in fast-moving content, such as sports highlights, gaming clips, or action vlogs, where low bitrates can introduce ugly artifacting as the encoder struggles to keep pace with the video's frantic scenes.

Other new YouTube Premium features to try

iOS users aren't the only ones being blessed with new features. YouTube has been rolling out several additions for Premium users across platforms, including managing your queue on smartphones and tablets.

The queue feature has been available on the desktop web version of YouTube for some time, allowing users to quickly add videos to a running playlist so that they'll automatically play one after another. You could somewhat do this already with standard playlists using the autoplay feature, but that method is a bit more clunky.

YouTube now also saves your watch progress across Android, iOS, and the web. This feature was also available rudimentarily but wasn't always reliable, depending on the devices used. Now, if you start on your iPad and want to continue on your MacBook or iPhone, it'll pick up right where you've left off. You can try YouTube Premium for free if you haven't already been a subscriber, after which you can continue with an individual plan for $11.99 monthly, $119.99 annually, or $22.99 per month for up to 5 family members.