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High Efficiency Image Coding

A file format for photos that's designed to be more efficient (in terms of file size) and higher-quality (in terms of visual detail) than the JPEG and GIF standards it's intended to replace.


Like JPEG, HEIF is a lossy compression format, meaning some visual detail is permanently lost when creating the HEIF file. This permits a smaller file size, using less storage space. However the intention of HEIF is to apply this compression in a way that the average human eye can't notice.

Unlike JPEG, HEIF files can include animation.

Last updated Nov 8, 2019 by Rich Brome

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.

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