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YouTube Premium is expanding its range of features beyond its traditional selling points of ad-free, background playback, and offline downloads. The popular video-sharing platform is adding new perks for its subscribers, including enhanced video quality, shared viewing capabilities, and improved video recommendations.
Starting with shared viewing, YouTube Premium users can now watch videos together with Google Meet Live Sharing, available for Android users. For iOS users, YouTube Premium is adding SharePlay support for FaceTime in the coming weeks, as announced by Apple with the latest iOS 15.1 update. This capability is already available for a handful of apps and will soon be accessible for YouTube Premium users as well.
In addition to shared viewing, YouTube is introducing an enhanced bitrate version of 1080p HD quality, called “1080p Premium”. This upgrade will make videos extra crisp and clear, which is especially beneficial for videos with a lot of detail and motion. This new feature is currently rolling out to iOS devices first, and will eventually become available for Android and the web as an experiment.
Queueing videos is another new feature that has been added to the YouTube Premium app for phones and tablets. This new capability entered testing last year and is now available for users to queue up their videos, a useful feature for those who like to create playlists.
Another new feature that will improve user experience is the “Continue watching” prompt that will appear in the bottom-right corner of the YouTube website for signed-in Premium subscribers. If a user starts watching a video on their phone but doesn’t finish it, this feature will prompt them to continue watching the video where they left off.
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Lastly, YouTube is introducing Smart Downloads, which automatically stores recommended videos for offline viewing. This feature is an official addition to the YouTube Premium service, providing users with a hassle-free way to download and watch videos on the go.