YouTube Axon 10 ProSource: Jason England / Android Central

What you need to know

  • YouTube could soon let users set the default video quality setting on its Android app.
  • Currently, YouTube only allows users to change the video quality setting on a per-video level.
  • The video quality preferences are likely to be added to the YouTube for Android app sometime later this year.

An APK teardown of the YouTube for Android v15.12.33 suggests the app could finally gain video quality preferences in the near future. Currently, Android users can change the video quality only when watching a video on the YouTube app. It is also possible to restrict high-quality streaming only when your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network.

According to the folks at XDA Developers, who performed the teardown, YouTube for Android v15.12.33 adds an activity for a new video quality preferences page. The new setting page suggests Android users will be able to change the default video quality, similar to YouTube's web client.

  • Video quality preferences
  • Adjusts to give you the best experience for your conditions
  • Auto (recommended)
  • Uses more data
  • Higher picture quality
  • Select your default streaming quality for all videos. You can change streaming quality in player options for single videos.
  • Video quality preferences (BETA)
  • Lower picture quality
  • Data saver
  • VIDEO QUALITY ON MOBILE NETWORKS
  • VIDEO QUALITY ON WI-FI
  • Video quality preferences (BETA)

Unfortunately, however, the teardown did not reveal the quality options that would be offered to users. What also remains unclear at this point is just how long it will take for the video quality preferences to be added to YouTube for Android.

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As most of you will be aware, YouTube recently announced that it will default to SD quality worldwide for a month to reduce its bandwidth usage amid the COVID-19 crisis. However, users can still choose to watch videos in high definition if they want to. The policy was first instituted in Europe last week, after EU industry chief Thierry Breton urged all leading streaming providers to switch to standard definition to save the continent's internet infrastructure.