Android P feature spotlight: HDR VP9 video and HEIF image format now supported


HEIF, or ‘High Efficiency Image File Format,’ is a relatively new format that was developed by the MPEG Group in 2015. It’s designed to maintain twice as much image data as a JPEG image, while keeping the file size roughly identical. Android P now includes native support for this file format, along with a decoder for HDR VP9 video.

HEIF became more widespread last year, when Apple began supporting it on macOS High Sierra and iOS 11. Select iPhone and iPad models can take images in HEIF format, so maybe we’ll see the camera app on some Android phones adopt that. Google is also highlighting HEIF’s smaller file size as a way for apps to reduce data usage.

Android P also adds support for HDR VP9 Profile 2, so it’s easier for developers to build apps that play HDR content. There still aren’t many phones or tablets with HDR displays, but it’s nice to see Google continue to work on it.


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