Until recently, the only way to get videos from YouTube 1080p on the iPad was to use the app YouTube. Now, and possibly for a limited time (knowing the fickle feature support of YouTube), you can watch full 1080p videos in Mobile Safari on your iPad.
It looks amazing on the 2018 13-inch iPad Pro screen, and is just a Touchez away on every page of YouTube.
Use desktop mode
Has always been able to change YouTube from the mobile site to the desktop version on iOS, which can give you access to different settings. At some point in the last few weeks (I think I just noticed this change recently, and I use desktop view quite a bit), YouTube made 1080p the default quality setting in desktop view.
So to access 1080p on any video from YouTube, just tell your iPad to load the desktop version.
How to load the desktop version of YouTube
To load the desktop version of a site, press and hold the reload icon in the URL bar and choose Request desktop site . The site reloads and now you will see something like this:
Not bad. If you want to check the quality, Touchez on the little settings gear and you will see 1080p.
Interestingly, if you then touch the submenu Quality , it still peaks at 720p. Also, as you can see from the screenshot, the quality of the preview image is terrible. Don't worry, it appears in high definition as soon as you touch play.
To view the video in full screen, Touchez the full screen icon (or press F on a connected keyboard). Or use our handy markers to force YouTube to a native full screen view.
Make up your mind, YouTube
The mobile browser player of YouTube it is everywhere. Features come and go without notice. For example, right now you can pinch to enlarge a video that plays in full-screen thumbnail view, even when it's embedded on another web page. But that ability is often disabled. And now 1080p is available in Safari, but for how long?
Who knows why YouTube change things like that. One thing is for sure: it is not making the user happier. If that were the case, these features would always work, rather than disappear and (maybe) come back.
Which is all to say, don't be surprised if this tip stops working for you. Or if it has already been disabled when you try. Right now, it always works for me (as long as the video itself exists in a 1080p version).