High Efficiency Image Format for Your iPad

By Bob LeVitus, Edward C. Baig, Bryan Chaffin

iOS 11 brought a big under-the-hood improvement to your iPad called the High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF) for still images. HEIF’s calling card is smaller photos with the same or higher quality as before. Plus, they support editing Live Photo in new and unique ways.

So far, the new file format is used only internally by the Photos app on the Mac and the Camera and Photos apps on the iPad running iOS 11. You can’t currently export files in the HEIC format, and iOS 11 intelligently exports more common file formats. In other words, you don’t need to worry about HEIF; it’s just something Apple is using to make photos take up less space. This probably will change over time, because HEIF is an industry standard like its predecessor, JPEG.