What is HEIC File Format?
If you copy photos from a recent iPhone or iPad to a PC or laptop, chances are you’ll see a lot of strange HEIC files:
HEIC File Format
With the release of iOS 11, Apple announced that it was switching to HEIC file format for photos to keep down file sizes. Google is also rumoured to add the format to upcoming Android P. That’s fine for mobile users, but Windows doesn’t support HEIC (for now). Fortunately there is a simple HEIC to JPG converter for PC users, enabling them to open HEIC files on their computer.
What is HEIC?
HEIC is the new file type for photos in iOS 11. That’s for iPhones and iPads with an A9 processor or newer, so iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, iPad Pro models and the recent 2017 iPad 9.7.
HEIC is the file format name Apple has chosen for the new HEIF standard. HEIF stands for High Efficiency Image Format, and, as the name suggests, is a more streamlined way to store image files. Using advanced, modern compression methods it allows digital photographs to be created in smaller files sizes, all while retaining higher image quality than its JPEG alternative.
HEIF is based on the HEVC (High Efficiency Video Compression) or H.265 video format already used on newer iPhones.
HEIC isn’t actually an Apple invention at all, but was developed by the MPEG group that was also responsible for the AAC format used in iTunes.
Technically, HEIC isn’t really a format as such, more of a container for images and audio. The way Apple has outlines its use is to store still images encoded with the HVEC (H.265) video format. This works particularly well with Live Photos, as multiple images can be saved in the HEIC container. The same is true for dual camera images captured on the iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 7 Plus.
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