Back in March, when the world was trying to adjust to a new online-focused lifestyle, video streaming platforms, including YouTube, decided to cap the video quality to spare some bandwidth for the more important stuff. As things eased, those restrictions were removed in subsequent months in most countries, except India. After more than seven months, YouTube is, at last, getting rid of the 480p resolution cap for its app users connected over LTE.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed how we all do business, take classes, and meet our family members. Many of our streaming apps have had to lower the video quality to spare some bandwidth for the more important stuff. Following Netflix’s lead, YouTube also began capping the video resolution to standard definition on mobile phones. What was supposed to be a temporary restriction for Indian users has now been in place for three months, affecting hundreds of millions, and there's no sign that Google will ease it anytime soon.
YouTube and many other streaming services have lowered their bandwidth utilization to prevent possible network congestion problems due to everyone staying home and using the internet more than usual in these trying times. For many, YouTube videos start playing at 480p or 720p automatically, but it's still possible to manually select a higher resolution. According to XDA Developers, Google has taken a more drastic approach for some regions in India and has started capping streaming quality at 480p for those using the Android or iOS app, with no option to go higher manually.