The new change seems like a switch from server-side of YouTube and hence users don’t need an update for this to take effect. However, the HD streaming is said to be available only when accessing it via Wi-Fi which means users on Mobile data are out of luck for now.
While we were also able to play 1080p HD videos on Wi-Fi network, the settings automatically switches to 480p as we trigger the mobile data. Also, the switch in quality is not limited to premium users and extends to everyone using it via home/office/public Wi-Fi networks.
YouTube along with other OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon had capped the viewing quality of content back in March. While OTT platforms have already restored the quality in India, users of YouTube felt left out.
With the new change, users of a faster Wi-Fi network can resume enjoying their content in the way they like. However, if you are someone who doesn’t have a stable Wi-Fi network at home but still need a workaround to watch contents in FHD, XDA reports that users can stream 1080p contents on mobile data using a temporary Wi-Fi connection.
After connecting to a temporary Wi-Fi, open a video on YouTube. You can now disable the Wi-Fi and resume playing it back via in 1080p. However, this doesn’t seem to work on Wi-Fi setups via mobile hotspots. That being said, this is a welcoming change and we can expect YouTube to revert the changes for the entirety of users in India soon.