With the official release of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, Apple introduced support for a new image format called HEIF, which uses the file extension HEIC. Apple sees HEIF as a worthy successor to the JPEG format. So what makes it so good that it can replace an industry standard that’s been in use for almost 25 years?
HEIF stands for High Efficiency Image Format and can be considered the still-image version of the HEVC video codec that Apple’s ecosystem now officially supports. (You can learn more about HEVC here.) The HEIF standard wasn’t made by Apple – it was developed in 2015 by the MPEG group, which also invented the AAC audio format used in iTunes.