It seems that JPEG format would be just a thing of the past now. Anyway, the previous year has witnessed Apple managed to shrink photo file sizes dramatically so that users could cram twice as many as photos into the iPhone. Now, the present scenario states that JPEG might have new competitors.
Google, Mozilla, and others are enlisted in a group called the Alliance for Open Media and are the latest rival to Apple’s HEIC photo format. To this, Tim Terriberry, a Mozilla principal research engineer working on the project, regarded that the images are 15 percent smaller than Apple’s HEIC photo format. But then again, smaller photos are just the beginning.
This idea or project is still yet to bloom, without having any name and very much unsure of the future. But it’s got a strong list of allies, an affinity for web publishing and modern features that could make it the best contender yet for overcoming JPEG’s 1990s-era shortcomings.
But, in any way or the other, images would be definitely better, because talking of JPEG format, it becomes weak when it comes to supporting a wider range of bright and dark tones, a broader spectrum of colors, and graphic elements like text and logos. With that, photos these days would be bursting beyond the rectangle-of-pixels limits, but In fact, JPEG is not able to handle the new photo technologies like bursts of shots, panoramas, live photos and 3D scene data also.
The arrival of HEIC:
Apple’s photo format, termed as HEIC, arrived last year with Apple’s iOS software for iPhones and iPads and in its MacOS software for its personal computers. This is an offshoot of the HEVC video compression technology developed by an industry consortium called MPEG with years of experience in squeezing video file sizes so they would become easier to store and to send over networks.
Apple has promoted its HEIC publicly and to developers at its 2017 developer conference. In practice, though, HEIC has remained somewhat invisible. The reason being, Apple, recognizing that most computing hardware and software around today has no ability to display HEIC, generally converts photos into JPEG formats when they would make their way out of your camera roll and into something like a Facebook post or email attachment. So, this suggests that HEIC format is complicated and expensive.
The next comes AV1 photo format:
Here comes HEIC’s new rival from the Alliance for Open Media, a group whose top priority is a video compression technology called AV1, which is free of patent licensing requirements. It’s got heavy hitters on board, including top browser makers Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and the most recent new member, Apple. Here, it needs mentioning that Apple’s plans haven’t been made public till now. Also, it has got major streaming video companies too like, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Facebook, videoconferencing powerhouse Intel and Google’s YouTube. Here, with the support of chip designers Intel, Nvidia, and Arm, AV1 should get the hardware acceleration that’s crucial to making video easy on laptops and phone batteries.
Now, even if all the above points don’t work, even after that AV1 photos should be a capable successor to WebP, the image format that Google introduced to speed up websites with images that typically are smaller than JPEGs or another format called PNG that’s good for text and logos. WebP had already won over eBay, Alibaba, Yahoo and other major websites, but Google failed to convince other browser makers to support it. Already, though, AV1 photos have broader support than just the internet giant.
Apple is the newest browser maker to join the AOMedia party, but it’s sold on HEIC’s advantages. One interesting possibility here remains that HEIC is just one variety of a broader standard called HEIF, and it is possible the AV1 format could slot in alongside HEIC as just another variety that uses AV1 instead of HEVC technology.
Now, here the biggest challenge, though, is the fact that JPEG, however imperfect, is overwhelmingly successful.To this Terriberry added that “Apple already is deploying a replacement, and other people have come up with other JPEG alternatives over the years. But JPEG has had incredible staying power”.