JPEG has been around since long before you might be born. To tackle the overwhelming file sizes of images we have these days, new formats need to be adopted to replace the good old JPEG.
Therefore, the Tech-Giants are all competing to have their very own best Image formats. Apple has had an idea around for a while, but it’s entirely possible their Google and Mozilla’s image format could finally put the JPEG to the deathbed.
It all started when a year ago, Apple got innovative after a long time, and decided to release it’s own image compression technology to reduce the image file size in half. This means that for every image, it was possible to have nearly two. Therefore, it got other companies started around the idea too, and Google, Mozilla and other companies formed a group by the name of “Alliance for Open Media” to unveil their own image compression format.
As of now, the Google and Mozilla’s format has proved to be more compression efficient; 15% reduced file size than Apple’s own HEIC format, as per testing results.
It’s not only about the file size either. There are other problems with JPEG format too since it’s obsolete for sure. It doesn’t support a range of bright and dark tones. Not only this, but there isn’t a broader spectrum of colors as well. On top of that, it doesn’t support graphics elements like text and logos either. In addition to this, 3D scene data, panoramas, live photos etc. are not a thing for a 90’s image format.
Therefore, the question arises, as to what are the alternatives?
Apple released its own format by the name of HEIC last year as part of its regular iOS and MacOS updates. It’s based on a similar compression technology by the name of HEVC, which also reduces the image file size quite a bit.
About the file size, as mentioned earlier, it only takes about half the space of a JPEG image. On top of that, there can be additional stuff too, like 3D scene recording data. This can be captured using the latest iPhones.
The format was given much publicity by Apple to the public as well as the developers at its 2017 developer conference. Though, to be honest, you wouldn’t have really heard of the file format name until now. This is because most of the hardware we rely on doesn’t yet support HEIC. Therefore Apple is limited to use this format, for its products only.
AV1 Photo Format
Now that Mozilla and Google’s Alliance for Open Media Group has their own format by the name of AV1, there will some competition between HEIC and this for sure. Unlike Apple’s HEIC, AV1 is free of patent licensing requirements, therefore, processor and phone makers won’t have to spend extra to use the format in their phones. Also, many internet browser companies like Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft are already rooting for this format.
It’s not known yet if Apple shall climb aboard too. The salient features of the format are:
- File Compression- The file size is reduced to 15 percent more than what HEIC can offer
- The format supports Graphical elements like logos and texts unlike JPEG
- It’s a form of lossless less compression, which means that your pixels aren’t lost while storing the photo. Just the file size is reduced; Win-Win
- Capable of HDR, enabling a range of bright and dark tones.
There is a problem though which is best explained by Tim Terriberry in his comment, “Apple already is deploying a replacement, and other people have come up with other JPEG alternatives over the years,” Terriberry further stated, “But JPEG has had incredible staying power.”