New file formats are emerging that help to provide better quality, compression, and efficiency. Among them are HEIF and HEIC. These formats are becoming more popular because they can change how we store, capture and share images. Apple is replacing JPEG images with HEIF or HEIC. A lot of Apple users are finding this very beneficial. This is because these image formats are designed to use less space and still retain high-quality images. This post explores everything you need to know about HEIF vs. HEIC.
Not sure what HEIF is? Check below to understand better this important file format:
HEIF (High-Efficiency Image File Format) is a new photo format that uses advanced codecs for efficient management. Designed to be efficient and lightweight, the HEIF format stores high-quality images but with reduced size than JPEG (old version). This means that the HEIF file format is better when compared to JPEG. HEIF utilizes the H.265 or HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Compression) video format used on the new iPhone.
The HEIF format was produced by Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) in 2015, and many phone manufacturers have adopted it, including Apple, Canon, and Microsoft. Apple made HEIF file format available with iOS 11 in 2017, allowing images to take up less space on iOS devices. The latest version of iPads and iPhones now uses HEIC as the default image format.
Except for those with smartphones with Android version 9 and above, Android users cannot use this HEIF technology. According to Apple and MPEG, the size of the HEIF image format is half that of a JPEG image file while maintaining the same quality. HEIF images are not only good in terms of size and quality, they have additional features that are not found in JPEG format. This includes 16-bit color, transparency, and also animations like GIFs.
HEIF is a container format that stores image sequences and individual digital images. It may also store other media streams, including video, audio, and timed text. When you compare the HEIF format with other image file formats, it can hold various image types and data, such as:
Below is the basic information about the HEIC file, what it does, and more. Check out:
When taking a photo with your Apple iPad or iPhone, you will find that the photo will be saved with (.HEIC) file extension format. What does it mean? The HEIC (High-Efficiency Image Container) is a file container or extension that holds HEIF sounds and images encoded with HEVC format. It may contain one or several images, with metadata describing each image. This file format was introduced when Apple decided to make this the default format when saving images on macOS High Sierra or iOS 11. If you take an image using your iPhone with Live Photos enabled, it will generate a HEIC file that stores several images.
Some operating systems, such as Android and Windows, do not support this file extension format. Therefore, you must first convert the HEIC image to JPEG file format to be compatible with non-Apple devices.
There're no inherent differences in the data types that HEIF and HEIC can store. HEIC is simply a file extension used to indicate that the file is compliant with the HEIF standard. The capabilities and types of data that can be stored are the same for both formats.
HEIC files have many advantages, one of which is that they take up less space on your device. Although the latest iOS and macOS devices have bigger storage space, it will never be enough to keep all your data. Therefore, any idea to minimize file space will be highly appreciated.
The problem is that not everyone uses Apple devices. Some individuals love using devices with other operating systems, such as Android and Windows. However, if you are glued to Apple devices, you just need to make sure that your iPhone has the latest iOS version, and you will be able to open HEIF easily. However, if you have not updated your iOS version, viewing HEIC and HEIF Files will be difficult.
To learn more about how to open HEIC files on a Windows computer, read this guide >Directly Open HEIC File on Windows Computer in 6 Effective Ways
The best thing is that both Microsoft and Apple support the HEIF images in their operating systems. This makes opening and viewing them super easy. All iPhones on iOS 11 and newer versions can software-decode HEIC images and HEIF content. However, only Apple devices with an A9 chip can open HEIF images. To view 8-bit video content and HEIC photos on Mac, the device must have newer CPUs and use Intel's 6th Generation. For 10-bit video content, the device should have newer Intel CPUs and use Intel's 7th Generation.
If you have a computer that runs on Windows, you have to update your Windows operating system to the latest version to be able to open the HEIF file. Third-party post-processing tools and Internet browsers do not support viewing HEIF photos and content. Unless you use an application such as Affinity Photo or Lightroom, you need to wait until your favorite software supports software decodes HEIC files later. Meanwhile, you can use third-party tools to convert your HEIF image to another file format that supports your browser, e.g., JPEG.
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Without a doubt, HEIF is an excellent file format when compared to PNG, GIF, JPEG, and other file formats. It is a versatile format and can store all kinds of media. It also has a superb compression level making it smaller than other image formats like JPEG while retaining high-quality image levels.