AVIF, the new photographic format supported by Chrome and Mozilla


The era of Jpeg files could be close to its end and to kill this compression format for photos will be neither the 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 companies, and this alliance also develops the AV1 video compression format which, together with H.266 / VVC and MPEG 5, competes 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 cascading all Chromium-based browsers) and Firefox .

AVIF: because it is important

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, 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 to bring the AVIF format to Firefox as early as January 2020 and planned to implement it in definitive version on 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. Identical speech for Chrome: AVIF is likely to arrive in August with Chrome 85.

Netflix and Windows already use it

Another big push for AVIF is Netflix, which implemented this file format in 2018. All the images we see in Netflix apps, on all platforms, are own tablets in AVIF: the graphic interface with its icons, the posters of the movies and TV series and many other graphic elements that we see are compressed with this format.

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

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