AVIF, the new photo format supported by Chrome and Mozilla

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Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda

The era of Jpeg files may be nearing its end and killing this compression format for photos will be neither Png nor the recent WebP: it will be AVIF, AV1 Image File Format. AVIF, in fact, is a format developed by Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) and is completely free.

Google, Mozilla and Cisco also participate in the Alliance for Open Media, among other big digital players, and this alliance also develops the AV1 video compression format which, together with H.266 / VVC and MPEG 5, is competing for the crown of best video format for this decade. The fact that behind AV1 and AVIF there are also Google and Mozilla, however, offers a significant strategic advantage to the formats of AOMedia, the native integration in the most popular browsers in the world: Chrome (and all the Chromium-based browsers) and Firefox. .



AVIF: why it matters

They are his technical characteristics to make AVIF a credible format as an alternative to Jpeg. Compression can create files up to ten times lighter than Jpg files, while maintaining high quality, HDR support, 8, 10 or 12 bit color depth and supports black and white channels.

AVIF on Chrome and Firefox: when it arrives

In theory, AVIF must have already arrived on the browsers of Google and Mozilla, but the plans of the two companies have been delayed by the coronavirus emergency. Mozilla, for example, started porting the AVIF format to Firefox as early as January 2020 and planned to roll it out to Firefox 76 in May. Now, however, it is likely that AVIF will arrive on this browser only in August, with the launch of Firefox 80. Same speech for Chrome: AVIF will probably arrive in August with Chrome 85.



Netflix and Windows already use it

Another big push to AVIF is being given by Netflix, which implemented this file format in 2018. All the images we see in the Netflix apps, on all platforms, are tablets right into AVIF: the graphic interface with its icons, movie and TV series posters and many other graphic elements that we see are compressed with this format.



Finally, even if users don't know it is very likely that they can already open AVIF files on their computer: Microsoft integrated support for this format already last year, with the Windows 2019 May 10 Update.

AVIF, the new photo format supported by Chrome and Mozilla

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