Friday, August 07, 2020

High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF)

High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) is a container format for individual images and image sequences. It was developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and is defined as Part 12 within the MPEG-H media suite (ISO/IEC 23008-12). MPEG claims that a HEIF image using HEVC requires about half the storage space as the equivalent quality JPEG. HEIF also supports animation, and is capable of storing more information[citation needed] than an animated GIF or APNG at a small fraction of the size.
Introduced in 2015, HEIF was adopted by Apple in 2017 with the introduction of iOS 11, and support on other platforms is growing.
HEIF files are a special case of the ISO Base Media File Format (ISOBMFF, ISO/IEC 14496-12), first defined in 2001 as a shared part of MP4 and JPEG 2000. This file format standard covers multimedia files that can also include other media streams, such as timed text, audio and video.

High Efficiency Image Container (HEIC) in iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra in 2017.


HEIC is the container or file extension that holds HEIF images or sequences of images. HEIF borrows technology from the High Efficiency Video Compression (HEVC) codec, also known as h.265. Both HEVC and HEIF are proprietary technologies developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG).

HEIF came into the mainstream when Apple made it the default format for its pictures on iOS11 devices and macOS High Sierra. However, other operating systems or websites don’t yet support HEIF and its HEIC file extension, so Apple’s operating systems will automatically convert the images to JPEG when users want to share them with friends who don’t use Apple products.
HEIC files can store not just multiple individual images, but also their image properties, HDR data, alpha and depth maps, and even their thumbnails.

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