YouTube today announced videos can now be viewed at 60 frames per second (fps) on Android and iOS. This change is being made server-side, meaning you don’t need to update your app to see the higher-quality videos.
On October 29, YouTube quietly turned on 60fps support for videos uploaded on that date and later, but only on the desktop site, which requires using YouTube’s HTML5 player (the site ditched Flash for HTML5 by default in January). Clips uploaded before that date remain at 30fps, while new videos shot at 60fps play back at their proper frame rate.
A YouTube spokesperson confirmed with VentureBeat that the new 60fps support on Android and iOS is just for videos, not livestreams. YouTube’s desktop site added support for 60fps livestreams in May, but Google has yet to talk about the same support coming to mobile.
If you haven’t seen these higher-quality videos yet, check out the example YouTube links to above (make sure to change the quality to 720p60 or 1080p60). Below, we opened up this video on YouTube for Android to show you the new 60fps options.
In short, today’s addition merely brings the YouTube mobile apps to the same level as the YouTube desktop site, YouTube for Apple TV, and YouTube for PS3/PS4. If you’re viewing YouTube on a mobile browser or via some third-party app (such as on Windows Phone), you unfortunately won’t be able to take advantage of the higher frame rate options.
60fps is great for fast-action videos, but it’s particularly awesome for video games. Today’s update is part of an ongoing war YouTube has started waging with Twitch, the current live-streaming king in gaming and esports.
Amazon bought Twitch for $970 million in August, following months of rumors that Google would snatch it up. With that failure in its rearview mirror, Google is now aiming to launch a new YouTube Gaming app this summer.