Earlier today Apple released the fourth developer beta of macOS Big Sur, and this looks like a game-changer for Safari browser users. The iOS 14 and the tvOS 14 come with support for 4K video playback on YouTube for the first time.
Now with the release of the new beta for the macOS, the Safari users can finally enjoy 4K videos on YouTube using the macOS Big Sur. To say that Safari users can now enjoy YouTube videos in 4K is not to say that the 4K video playback on YouTube is particularly new for the Mac users; however, this would be the first time that those users could enjoy 4K definition videos using Safari, Apple’s very own web browser.
Previously, for iOS users, they had to download Chrome or another browser compatible with 4K on YouTube to enjoy those videos. Starting with macOS Big Sur beta 4, users can just access YouTube in Safari to watch videos in 4K resolution instead of 720p or 1080p. Other options such as 1440p (2K) and 2160p (4K) also remain available for Safari users.
The reason why Safari did not possess the means by which to stream 4K videos is that Apple did not have support for Google’s VP9 codec. 2020 is the year in which Apple decided to add support for the said VP9 codec on both iOS 14 and tvOS 14 previously, and on 5th August on macOS Big Sur.
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In addition to the new support, Safari also comes with support for WebP images and HDR videos which enables OTTs such as Netflix to stream content on 4K HDR. Apple is also working to support WebExtension API on macOS Big Sur. The new Safari 14 will be available to all users in the third quarter of this year with the release of iOS 14, iPad 14, and macOS Big Sur.