What is a HEIF file?
An HEIF file is a High-Efficiency Container Image file format that is capable of storing a single image or a sequence of images in a single file. It, thus, is basically a container having multiple images stored. HEIF file format compresses the images using the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard. It is is more efficient and light weight as compared other image file formats such as JPEG. A single HEIF file can store sequences of images such as GIF animations or HDR sequence, along with metadata that describes each image. Apple Inc. adopted its variant HEIC file format for their iOS 11. This lead other companies to support it in their software including Adobe.
HEIF File Format
The HEIF format was developed by Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and was registered under the ISO/IEC 23008-12 standard in 2015. It was adopted by a number of manufacturers such as Apple, Microsoft, and Canon. HEIF files are stored with .heif extension (if it contains a single image) or as .heifs (if it contains a sequence of images).
HEIF Data Storage
The HEIF format can store the following types of images and data.
- Individual images and image thumbnails
- Sequences of images
- Post-processing instructions
- Image metadata, such as EXIF data
HEIF image format provides the capability of several different image formats including JPEG, PNG, and GIF at no compromise on image quality.
Supported Operating Systems
The following operating systems support HEIF content:
- Android 9 Pie and newer
- Apple iOS 11 and newer
- Apple macOS High Sierra and newer
- Microsoft Windows 10 April 2018 Update (1803) and newer