Description: HEIC stands for high efficiency image container, which is the container that holds high efficiency image format (HEIF) files. When a HEIF image is used, you'll see it associated with the .heic extension. The HEIC container can hold image and sound files, and it was modeled after the Moving Picture Experts Group or MPEG standards. It's considered to be an innovative rival to the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format and a possible replacement for it.
When to Use a HEIC File
HEIC captures richer depth of color for graphics. While JPEG supports 8-bit color images, HEIC goes the distance with 16-bit images.Apple products are known for their crisp graphics, and many photographers and digital artists rely on the brand to produce images that stand out for individual and commercial clients. Apple products support 10-bit image quality, which is why it made the leap to HEIC.
While HEIC’s image quality is stunning, it’s currently best used for graphics that aren’t shared via the internet. The web still uses industry-standard JPEG files and isn’t compatible with HEIC yet.
Benefits of HEIC
It appears that Apple didn’t make the decision to move forward with HEIC on a whim. There are some clear benefits for using the file format that promise to be game changers for anyone who takes pictures or enjoys looking at them. That’s nearly everyone.
Besides offering higher image quality, HEIC allows photographers to compress pictures to half of the size of a JPEG file. Compressed files save on storage, which is a key consideration for iPhone users who take pictures for a living. However, these files tend to have lower image quality. HEIC allows you to get the benefits of compression without losing image quality.
Challenges of Mainstreaming HEIC
In a perfect world, the benefits of HEIC would launch it into superstardom with all of the major operating systems and internet platforms. However, most users aren’t aware of HEIC or how awesome its features are. Without this knowledge, they can’t drive demand for the format with Microsoft or Google’s Android. These tech giants are also hesitant to follow Apple in its support of HEIC because the HEIC format is a proprietary one.
Current Workarounds for Compatibility Issues
Most people don’t take pictures solely for their own enjoyment; they want to share them with friends and family. If you send a friend a great HEIC picture and she doesn’t have an iOS 11 or a macOS Sierra device, she won’t be able to open the file without using a HEIC to JPG conversion tool. If you want to save her some trouble, you can convert the file on your Apple device without having to use HEIC to JPG conversion software.
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