September 2, 2017

Alexander Shcherbakov


Apple switches to a new format of photographs, which is twice as economical, but does not work on other systems.

Photo: Business Insider

Apple likes to abandon popular but obsolete things.This happened with DVD drives, Adobe Flash, classic USB-A and 3.5 mm headphones.Sometimes the company offers half measures in the form of adapters or additional accessories.For example, for a long time, Apple sold an external DVD-drive and still offers to buy an adapter with a USB Type-C to other useful connectors for a new MacBook.

When Apple refuses something, she becomes a pioneer and all other companies follow her.At least it was before.Now few manufacturers have completely abandoned USB-A connectors in laptops or headphones in smartphones.The same Samsung is trying to play this and at the presentation of Galaxy Note 8 paid attention to this - "And he also has a headphone jack!".But it is impossible to argue with the fact that wired headphones will die out, the only question is when it will happen.Just Apple is not afraid to switch even to extreme measures and refuse technologies that all use.And the company is clearly not going to stop in its sharp solutions.

Time for a change

Apple in early June held another conference for developers WWDC 2017.The main event was presented by the new iPad 10.5, the “smart” column Homepod, IMAC Pro and new versions of operating systems for its devices.IOS 11 attracted more attention: new functions for tablets, ARKIT platform for augmented reality and a bunch of small changes.Although, at first glance, changes are not so large -scale.But I caught on one moment - at the presentation they said that now photos and videos from the iPhone would be occupied twice as much memory.This was mentioned in passing, and I really did not understand anything and therefore went to read a press release, which also does not explain the whole situation.

In iOS 11, Apple represents a new highly effective format of Heif images, which reduces the size of the files of all photos shot on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Who would have thought that this Apple refuses the usual JPEG photo format in favor of the new Heif.

What a heif

Какие сложности ждут пользователей Android после презентации Apple 12 сентября —

This abbreviation from High Efficiency Image File Format.This standard began to be developed back in 2013, but only in 2015 was the final release took place.Already now this format can be tested with IOS 11 beta-version on the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus.Photos are preserved with the extension.Heic, they do not differ in quality from JPEG and really take up two times less space.But sometimes the savings are less - it all depends on the specific picture.

And it sounds cool - saving space on a smartphone without losing the quality of photos.But in fact, everything is not so good.

Heif is a new format and only Apple now begins to spread it massively.For example, I have not heard about it before the WWDC conference.So the main problem follows from this - images with expansion.Heic opens only on devices with iOS 11 and the new MacOS High Sierra.It can not even be opened on iOS 10 and the previous MacOS, not to mention Windows 10 and Android.There is not even a program for converting from.Heic c.JPEG.

Search by Google Play showed only one application - Luma.But it does not even see the photo with the iPhone in the new format.I also found information on the Microsoft forum that the Zoner Photo Studio program can allegedly open a heif-images-also not true.So after September 12, when most of the iPhone 7 will be updated to iOS 11, users of other systems may encounter a problem - photos.Heic can not open.

It only saves that when sending heif photographs, for example, through Telegram, they are automatically converted into JPEG, but in this case the image quality falls.To maintain quality, you need to send a photo as a file, but then in the format.Heic.Plus in the system settings, you can choose the old conservation format - “high efficiency” (heif) or “most compatible” (jpeg).But then the savings of memory are lost, and not every user will know about this possibility.We'll have to choose.

I am sure that in iOS 11 itself there will be no problems with the work of Heif files in the applications, and soon there will be programs to open these photos on other platforms.But it is not very convenient to install a separate application to just look at one or two photos.So we must wait for the distribution of this format, when all devices learn in standard ways to open it - no one knows how much time will need for this.

It remains only to wait

In the description of the HeIF standard on GitHub, I did not find information that it is impossible to use it anywhere - this is an open format.Then I do not understand why for almost three months of the os 11 beta test, not a single program has yet appeared to open a photo in expansion.Heic.

We are waiting for September 12 and the development of the new Heif standard.