Explained: What is HEIC format for photos in iPhone, how it helps users and more – Times of India

HEIC, which stands for High Efficiency Image Format, is a file format developed by the Moving Image Experts Group (MPEG). Apple adopted this format for iPhones and other Apple devices because it offers several advantages over traditional image formats such as JPEG. We explain what HEIC is, why Apple chose to use it, and whether it's a better alternative to JPEG.

What is HEIC?

HEIC is a container format for images that uses advanced compression techniques to store photos more efficiently. It is based on the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) codec, which is commonly used for high-quality video compression. HEIC files usually have a .heic or .heif file extension.
Apple introduced HEIC with iOS 11 in 2017, so it's not a new format. However, with the iPhone 15 series, Apple started promoting it more than before. There are several reasons behind this and why HEIC may be a better option:

“Mode” to save space

HEIC files are significantly smaller than equivalent JPEG or ProRAW files on iPhones. This means you can store more photos without using up as much storage space on your device. For users who have limited memory capacity on their devices, this is a significant advantage.

Better image quality

HEIC supports 16-bit color, which means it can capture a wider range of colors and details than the 8-bit color used in JPEG. This results in better image quality, especially for photos with complex color profiles or subtle gradients.

loss compression

HEIC uses more efficient compression algorithms than JPEG. This allows you to get smaller files without significant loss of image quality. When you see a HEIC image, it is often identical to the original, and the file size is smaller.

Is HEIC a better option than JPEG?

HEIC offers several advantages, but whether it's a better alternative to JPEG depends on the context and your specific needs. One of the main challenges with HEIC is its compatibility with non-Apple devices and older software. While modern Windows and Android devices can open HEIC files, older devices and software may struggle to do so. JPEG, on the other hand, is universally supported.
For professional photographers and those requiring extensive post-processing, HEIC's non-destructive editing capabilities are a significant advantage. This allows more flexibility in image manipulation and archiving.