With the arrival of iOS 16 and macOS 13 Ventura, Apple will add support for the AVIF image format. Focus on this new format.
AVIF … késako? For most of you, this is surely the first time you hear about this image format. However, the main web browsers like Firefox and Chrome already support this format, but also competing systems like Windows or Android.
The AVIF format: what is it?
According to Wikipedia, the image file format AV1 Image File Format (AVIF) is an open image file format that allows you to save images or image sequences in compressed format.
This new image format is intended as a more modern replacement for JPEG. It is based on the AV1 codec and allows support for HDR and transparency, while promising higher quality compression at equivalent weight.
Apple highlights its own competitor
Concretely, the AVIF format is a competitor of the HEIC format that Apple wants to push, but based on the paid H.265 codec. Like the AV1 codec, AVIF is free to use.
We therefore understand better why Apple is discreet about the support of this codec. The Cupertino company does not intend to change tack, HEIC will remain the default format for saving photos on the iPhone.
Thanks to this support, Apple only wishes to offer the possibility of decoding the AVIF images sent by its correspondents.
Photo only, no videos
Apple only announces AVIF support on its devices, not AV1. This is why the support will be made only at the level of fixed or animated images and not of videos.
The reason can probably be sought in the lack of hardware support for the AV1 codec on the latest Apple chips, even the Apple M2 chip.
Decoding an AV1 video file would go through software, which would have a greater impact on battery power, whereas occasionally decoding an AVIF image should have limited impact.
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