Google updates its YouTube video service for Android for 4K video search

by on March 18, 2015

Stephan Jukic – March 18, 2015

As we’ve already covered before, Google is one of the real pioneers of 4K ultra HD video and its YouTube service has had 4K content available for streaming to whoever could manage it since all the way back in 2010, much earlier than just about any other source of UHD content on the market today.

Now, the company has taken its YouTube collection of 4K content, which is growing all the time, and made it into something even more usable for a wider variety of viewers.

The basic story is that Google’s YouTube has been updated today and this in turn brings one highly notable feature to the video content site’s Android application, it now has the option of letting you search for 4K resolution videos.

Now those who also use the Android app for consuming their favorite video content can also search by specifically 4K filters. Along with this 4K video search filter, users can also expect a bunch of other performance fixes and improvements to the YouTube app, as is par for the course with any new update from Google to its Apps.

The update might however not go live to everyone at the same time. There is a download link for the YouTube apk update here, and once you’ve installed the apk file, or gotten the download normally through the Play Store, turning on the 4K video filter is a simple matter of accessing it as you perform video searches; an icon will appear in the top right corner of the app with a resemblance to an upside down pyramid. Tap on this and all your filter options (including 4K) will appear.

Other filters include ones for HD, Full HD, SD, 3D and other video types. There are also filters for closed captions, creative common and live video.

Now, we come to a slightly more fundamental problem with the YouTube 4K video search filter, it lets you more easily find ultra HD content on your smart phone or tablet but then you get to enjoy the disappointment of not being able to watch that content in its native 4K from your device!

Only a very small few tablets with 4K screens exist and no smartphones with the resolution on their displays, so far.

Only a very small few tablets with 4K screens exist and no smartphones with the resolution on their displays, so far.

Unfortunately, while 4K video on the web is proliferating, there are still no 4K phones and virtually no 4K tablets being sold by anyone. So in order to really enjoy those 4K searches as they’re supposed to be enjoyed, you’ll have to send the video link to your PC, 4K TV or even 4K laptop. Quite a shame.

The irony in this is that much of the 4K content you’re likely to find with the YouTube app was actually created by other smartphones just like yours, since many of them now have cameras that can create ultra HD videos but can’t view their own content in the resolution in which it was filmed.

Hopefully (and it’s something we’re betting on) this will change as the first 4K UHD smartphones and small tablets appear on the market later in 2015.

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  • Wale_Not_Wally
    March 19, 2015 at 1:20 am

    I do wonder if Google will update the YouTube Leanback app for TV to take advantage of 4k videos. I have a 2014 Sony 4K TV and I don’t know why for the life of me the Youtube app doesn’t allow 4K resolution.


  • Bruno Conceicao
    March 8, 2016 at 6:31 am

    I do have a 4k phone, sony Z5 premium and i can’t run the videos on 4k…May i know why?? thanks


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