Apple packed the biggest display it’s ever made onto the iPhone 6 Plus, and while its 1920×1080 resolution is great for streaming 1080p videos, it turns out that Apple also secretly added 4K video support without telling anyone.
The iPad Air 2, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus all support 4K video playback out of the box, thanks to the new A8 processor added this year. Apple doesn’t list 4K video playback as one of the A8 chips features, but the discovery was made by the developers behind WALTR, who posted proof of 4K video playback on the iPhone 6 this weekend.
Cult of Mac discovered that 4K video playback is also supported on the iPad Air 2, which sports a special A8X processor. We’ve tested 4K video on both the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and iPad Air 2 and found that it works on all Apple devices with an A8 processor. Playback is buttery smooth for videos as long as they’re using the H.264 codec, but .MOV and .AVI 4K video files will also play with some slight glitching.
Support for 4K video isn’t very useful on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus natively as the devices’ 1334 x 750 and 1920 x 1080 resolutions can’t depict the ultra-fine details of 4K video files. However, Apple may have added it in anticipation of 4K video coming to an updated Apple TV and iTunes the near future. The addition would allow iPhone 6 users to AirPlay video to their Apple TV-connected 4K TV, as long as they can find enough storage space for the huge 4K video files.