I’ve often found myself accidentally burning through my daily mobile data quota after watching a few high-resolution YouTube videos, oblivious of the fact I wasn’t hooked to a Wi-Fi network, but cellular data. Yes, the app has offered an option to restrict video quality to sub-HD resolutions when using mobile data, but it is not easily accessible. That is finally getting solved with what appears to be a server-side update for the YouTube mobile app that adds new video quality controls.
The Settings page now has a more detailed 'video quality preferences' section
Now, when you tap on the quality option while watching videos in the YouTube mobile app, you’ll now see a different layout. Instead of the long list of video resolutions available from 144p and all the way to 4K, you’ll now be three presets – Auto, Higher Picture Quality, and Data Saver. However, you can still manually specify the video resolution by tapping on the Advanced option at the bottom.
Talking about the new video quality controls, the ‘data saver’ preset appears to max out at 480p resolution, while the ‘higher picture quality’ option reaches the 720p mark on mobile data. You can customize these video quality settings separately for mobile data and Wi-Fi, so that you don’t have to tinker with the resolution controls every time you switch the mode of connectivity.
You can still manually specify the video resolution by tapping on the Advanced option
If you think these new presets are not up to the mark, you can always open the ‘Advanced’ option to manually specify the video resolution. I’ve already got the new interface in the YouTube app on my Google Pixel 4a, but it doesn’t appear to be live on my secondary OPPO phone yet. If you’re yet to see the new settings, make sure you’ve updated the YouTube app to its latest version. And just in case you’re wondering, these new video quality controls are available on both Android and iOS versions of the YouTube mobile app.