What is an AVIF file?
AVIF (AV1 Image File Format) is an image file format that stores images compressed with AV1 in HEIF file format. AVIF files are stored with the .avif extension. Version 1 of the AVIF was finalized in February 2019. It has features like High Dynamic Range (HDR), support for 8, 10, and 12 color depth, support for any color space(ISO/IEC CICP and ICC profiles, wide color gamut), etc.
The support for the AVIF file format is growing. Netflix published the first AVIF images on December 14, 2018. Microsoft Windows 10 also added support for it with the 19H1 release. Paint.net added support for opening and saving AVIF files in September 2019 and August 2020 respectively. The support for AVIF is also being added to browsers. Google Chrome added support for AVIF in August 2020 and Mozilla Firefox is working to support it. Cloudflare announced its support for AVIF on 3 December 2020.
AVIF vs JPEG
A big gain that AVIF has over JPEG is the smaller file size. This means that using AVIF would result in less bandwidth and data usage. The AVIF format supports HDR whereas JPEG is limited to 8-bit color depth.
The two biggest problems with AVIF at the moment are encoding speed and the lack of progressive rendering. So unlike JPEG images, nothing is shown on the screen until AVIF images are fully downloaded.