YouTube is the most visited video streaming website in the world. Billions of people visit the site each day to watch interesting videos and content, which are not available anywhere else. Google owns the website and thus is in charge of making sure that it updates and adds new features regularly. YouTube essentially has two forms, one is the desktop mode, which people can access through their laptops and PCs. The other popular form is the mobile application for the service.

This app is the primary program which lets people enjoy the videos available on YouTube on their smartphones and tablets. However, one particular feature, which was present on the desktop version of YouTube, had been strangely missing on the mobile app since its inception.

The new feature on the YouTube app

For quite some time now, YouTube has allowed people on desktop mode to select the Playback Speed of the video. This means that audiences could select if they wanted to watch a particular video in slow motion or whether they wanted to speed up the content. However, for some reason, this same option was not provided to people who watched the videos on the YouTube app for mobiles. Fans have been demanding the same to be integrated into the handheld medium of YouTube for some time.

Now, finally, Google has decided to roll out an update to the YouTube app that will let watchers control the video playback speed on their handsets, similar to how they have been doing the same on their desktops. According to the developers, the speed of the video playing on YouTube can now be altered from 0.25x, which is quarter speed to a maximum of 2x, which signifies double the original speed.

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The update is being rolled out to both Android and iOS versions of the YouTube app. It should work on almost all iOS devices, but Android smartphone owners must ensure that their devices run Android 5.0 or higher, to take advantage of this latest feature.

What the feature involves

Google explained why this process of slowing down or speeding up the video is a complex one. To achieve it, the developers had to render each video frame with the audio timestamps corresponding to that frame. They revealed that the video frames are not encoded in a chronological order. So, to ensure that the video and the audio stay in sync, the video decoder housed in the app needs to work faster than the rate at which the video frames are necessary to be rendered.