The new APPLE image standard

Apple is known for its innovation in the field of tech. A recent release from Apple confirms that HEIF might be used from their next release of operating systems. 

HIEF is developed by MPEG and Apple is implementing it in their range of mobile devices to save memory space.


About the algorithm: HEIF stands for “High-Efficiency Image File format”. HEIF can achieve single-file packaging of burst photos, focal stacks, and exposure stacks. Similarly, simultaneously captured video and still images can be stored in the same HEIF file.

Fearures: HEIF files can store the following types of data:

  • Image Items: storage of individual images, image properties and thumbnail(s).
  • Image Derivations: derived images are generated during run-time based on descriptions such as rotation, grid, and overlay. These images depend on other images stored in the HEIF file. The storage overhead of derived images is small.
  • Image Sequences: storage of multiple time-related and/or temporally predicted images (like a burst photo shot or cinematograph animation), their properties and thumbnails. Different prediction options can be used in order to exploit the temporal and spatial similarities between the images. Hence, file sizes can be drastically reduced even when tens of images are stored in the same HEIF file.
  • Auxiliary Image Items: storage of an image data which complements another image item. An alpha plane or a depth map are examples of such images. This data is not displayed as such but used in various forms to complement another image item.
  • Image Metadata: storage of EXIFXMP and similar metadata which accompany the images stored in the HEIF file.

My opinion: The HIEF algorithm is really awesome, we get the similar image quality as of JPEG for a very less storage space. It would be really amazing if it becomes the new industry standard. JPEG is pretty old and needs refreshment with HIEF. I believe Apple would set it as the industry standard and we can click double pictures once we have HEIF as the new standard.


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