One of the things that frequent users of YouTube on their smartphones have wanted for a long time was the ability to choose their default video quality setting. YouTube first announced in June that it was in testing with simplified video quality settings for some users. However, no proof of that testing surfaced until now.
Screenshots seen above show the simplified video settings are finally rolling out. It appears YouTube is giving us more than we expected with the ability to choose default video quality preferences for both Wi-Fi and mobile data video playback. YouTube is offering multiple choices to help users save data, including data saver, higher picture quality, and auto.
There’s also an advanced option that lets users pick a specific resolution. The assumption is that the data saver would be low quality up to 480p. Higher picture quality is presumably 720p and higher, while auto lets YouTube choose the ideal resolution depending on bandwidth. Under the advanced option are six resolutions to choose from.
Available resolutions include 1080p, 720p, 480p, 360p, 240p, and 144p. The settings are available on a per video basis. However, there is now the ability to set default preferences inside the app. The settings are a big deal for users who are on metered data plans. Inside the app settings, the new video quality preferences menu is labeled as beta.
It offers two settings for the default video quality on mobile networks or Wi-Fi. Having two options allows users to choose low quality when on the mobile data plan and high quality while on Wi-Fi. YouTube has stopped short of offering an option to pick a specific video quality for the entire app. However, having more granular control over video resolution is a big deal.