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Better Late Than Never: iPhone X Now Supports YouTube HDR Playback

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YouTube has finally added support for HDR playback on its iOS app, which means iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X users can now watch videos in glorious HDR quality.

HDR video, for the uninitiated, is just a fancier term excellent video quality. It's less video and more like looking at real life through a window, given that HDR boasts more dynamic and accurate colors that give content a great deal of visual clarity. HDR playback requires an HDR-capable display, which is why it's not available on all smartphones — just the ones with the really fancy screens such as the Samsung Galaxy S9.

Oddly missing from the list of supported devices is the iPad Pro, which has a screen bright and vibrant enough to support HDR content. A report from MacRumors suggests YouTube hasn't flipped the switch to enable it on that device yet, though.

What Is HDR?

Users who own either one of Apple's latest iPhones can now test HDR playback using YouTube's wide selection of user-uploaded HDR demos. Users can look for this by typing "HDR" on the search bar. The iPhone X appears to switch automatically to HDR playback when streaming, but users can also manually enable it by tapping the three vertical dots. HDR isn't about resolution, it should be noted. It's about dynamic colors, so it'll work just as fine even on 480p.

Why HDR Might Look Nicer On The iPhone X

Apple debuted HDR support last year thanks to the Super Retina display on the iPhone X, which is a little bit nicer than the displays of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. So despite all three iPhones capable of playing back HDR content, watching on an iPhone X might yield a slightly better experience. Plus it's got an OLED screen, which is probably the best-looking out of all types of displays.

YouTube has slowly been enabling HDR playback for smartphones that offer true HDR displays. The company has already launched the feature for several Android devices, including the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8.

Netflix App

Netflix has also been adding HDR playback for compatible devices, letting users binge-watch HDR movies and TV shows. The streaming service enabled this feature last year for Apple's newest iPhones.

iPhone users, have you downloaded the updated YouTube app? How are you enjoying HDR playback so far? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!

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