HEIC format (High Efficiency Image Coding) is a type of high-efficiency image compression introduced by Apple in 2017 with the iOS 11 operating system. This format is also known as HEIF (High Efficiency File Format) and is the default image format on Apple devices.
HEIC allows to store a burst of snapshots in the same file.
This type of graphic file has some advantages, especially its ability to occupy up to half the space than other widely used formats such as JPEG. In addition, it also makes it possible to store several files in a single document, such as Live Photos or burst shooting.
In this sense, HEIC files use the extension .heic or .heics, depending on the number of images they contain, and, in addition, include metadata describing the size, resolution, location, and other details of the images.
This format is also capable of storing image files with transparent backgrounds, saving GIF files, undoing editing changes such as cropping and image rotations, and using 16-bit color support instead of the 8-bit of JPEGs.
The main drawback with this format is compatibility, especially on Android or Windows devices, but fortunately there are several methods to make this not an obstacle.
How to transform HEIC files to other image formats.
Despite the compatibility issue, there are easy ways to convert HEIC files to JPEG, WEBP and other formats.
On Windows. On computers running Windows operating systems, it is ideal to have an updated version 10 or higher and download an extension to use HEIC or HEIF images.
You can also download a specific application to convert images such as iMazing HEIC Converter or Luma HEIF to convert several files in batch. If you prefer not to download any application or extension there are online options such as Online Convert or Convertio.
On Mac computers. On a Mac computer you can open the image in “Preview” and follow the path “Export – Format – JPEG” (or the one you prefer). To transform several images in batch it is recommended to use applications such as the previously mentioned iMazing HEIC Converter or Luma HEIF.
On iPhone or iPad. Finally you can also convert HEIC images to JPG from your iPhone or iPad. To do this you have to follow this path: “Settings – Camera – Formats” where you will select the option “Most compatible”.
This in practice means transforming the HEIC file to JPG, although it must be taken into account that, precisely because of the high compression characteristics of the HEIC format when transferring the images to JPG they will occupy more space, and therefore the storage capacity available on the device will have to be assessed.
This option also allows the opposite action: transforming an image in JPG format to HEIC format, but this time the route will have to be “Settings – Camera – Formats” where the “High efficiency” option will be selected.