Apple’s latest bombshell is a whole new image format and you may already be using it. HEIF stands for High Efficiency Image File and it replaces the JPG format in iOS 11.
Where did this come from?
Apple adopted it as a better way to save ever more complex images from iPhones, beginning with iOS 11. But they didn’t invent it. The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) did in 2015 and since it’s a universal standard, there will be lots of support for it. Photoshop® is already compatible.
Newer Apple devices already use HEIF and quietly convert to jpg when sharing with a platform that might not support it, like when attaching to an email. As for your old jpgs, they’ll stay that way. You’ll never need to convert them or use them differently than you do now.
Four Big Advantages
- High-Efficiency means lightweight. Images encoded in HEIF are about half the size of a jpg of comparable quality. That means faster processing and movement across networks which is important for mobile where increased battery life and decreased bandwidth use are paramount.
- It’s a container. One High Efficiency Image File can contain multiple images like Live Photos. Sure, a GIF can do that but not with the same quality. HEIFs support 16-bit color depth (256 times more than an 8-bit gif or jpg).
- It speaks 3D. Dual cameras on the latest iPhones capture depth data that enable enhanced capabilities like Portrait Mode. HEIF records depth layers and other metadata to preserve these features and increased editing capabilities for later.
- Simple rotation and cropping. Rotating jpeg 90 degrees requires that the entire image be resampled. It costs processing time and degrades image quality. But HEIF’s support orientation and cropping as outside instructions that don’t change the original pixel map. You can crop today and revert to the full image a year from now (in theory).
So, does this change everything?
Not at all. Existing formats like jpg, tif, gif, png and others aren’t going away. Each has strengths that will continue to suit their uses in a variety of capture and publishing platforms. When it comes to printing and sharing, we have no beef with HEIF either. Ordering high quality photo products from our website or in our store is just as easy as it is with a jpeg. If you do need to change a HEIF file to JPG, websites like aconvert.com can do it for free.
So, HEIF is here. But there’s nothing to fear. Mamma won’t take your jpg away.
If you have questions about saving, storing and printing your images, call us! Our experts are here to help.