What is AVIF? The image format with which Google wants to retire JPG

When we talk about photographs, the best known digital format that most of us use daily is JPG, which has been on our devices for years. So it is time to find a replacement for him. Do you know what AVIF is? We tell you

A few years ago, Apple decided to present HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format), a new image format with which the company wanted to end JPG on iPhones and other brand products. Now it is the turn of Google that has presented its own format for the photographs that we save on Android.

AVIF will be the new photographic format that will come by default in Android 12, along with HEIF, which Google has already included its operating system, a format developed by the MPEG group (Moving Picture Experts Group), responsible for formats such as MP3 and MP4.

Both HEIF and AVIF or AV1 share the same standard ( ISO-23000-12 ) and one of the advantages of these formats is the compression of images. HEIF manages to be 50% more efficient than JPG, that is, it saves half the space of JPG images.

AVIF also achieves a size reduction of 50%, but in relation to the WebP format, which are already half small files than a JPEG. That is, AVIF can compress an image up to a third more than JPG.

These types of formats are not like Raw, they do not seek to preserve the maximum quality of the image, but they do maintain a balance between that the image continues to be seen as best as possible and that they are light to load it as quickly as possible when sending or displaying it in a web . This is what the WebP format intended, but it has ended up falling short, and now there are more interesting options that could bring a greater understanding to photos and videos. 

Avif image format

Because one of the peculiarities of these new formats is that they can be used both for a still photo and for animations , let’s say what a GIF is, a sequence of images. Keep in mind that JPEG is more than 25 years old and when the use we made of technology was created it was not the same as now that we need to upload photos on all the pages we visit, in applications and save them in the cloud or in the memory of smaller and smaller devices.

The management of storage space is one of the main concerns of technology companies and the Internet and it is not only pursued to make larger and more powerful data centers or more capable memory cards, but also to reduce the space that each file, application or even operating system. 

The AVIF format has the following qualities: 

  • A color depth of 8, 10 and 12 bits.
  • HDR support.
  • Lossless and lossy compression.
  • Monochrome or multicomponent.
  • Compatible with ISO / IEC CICP and ICC profiles.
  • Film grain

All these advantages come with this new format to the first mobiles that update to Android 12 the latest version that Google has just presented for mobiles and tablets. The idea is that over time this format will make the leap to other systems and programs such as Chrome OS on laptops, and even Google Chrome and end up retiring JPG from web pages and any system.

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