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Adobe begins rolling out support for Apple’s HEIF image format, starting with Lightroom CC

This is pretty significant.
As you know, Apple’s new space-saving image format introduced in iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, dubbed High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF), is pretty great.
However, we’re living in a JPEG world in which the vast majority of popular image editing and photography apps are currently incompatible with HEIF, holding back its adoption.
I’m pleased to report that Adobe’s begun to roll out support for HEIF-encoded images (.HEIC files) in two of its key photography-related apps: Lightroom CC and Adobe Camera RAW.
  • Adobe Camera Raw—You can now open HEIF images from your iOS device’s camera.
  • Adobe Lightroom CC—Both Lightroom CC for iPhone and Lightroom CC for iPad now let you import .HEIC images encoded in the HEIF format.
Adobe’s various Photoshop-branded mobile apps for iPhone and iPad did not receive HEIF support at the time of this writing. However, it’s probably a question of “when”, not “if”, more so considering Lightroom now supports HEIF images in your photography workflow.
No matter how you look at it, Adobe rolling out HEIF support in both its popular photography app Lightroom and the equally important Adobe Camera Raw app is huge.
It’s only a matter of time before mobile and desktop Photoshop apps (along with other productivity software from Adobe) fully adopt Apple’s new image format.
HEIF support is currently non-existent in Windows.
“HEVC and HEIF files are only supported by Apple devices,” according to a Microsoft employee. “As of now, there are no apps or programs that run on Windows 10 that can support HEVC codecs and HEIF files.”
Microsoft is probably evaluating bringing HEIF support to Windows 10. And with Adobe beginning to adopt HEIF, I don’t see how Microsoft can ignore the new format for much longer.
Although Microsoft and Adobe are big players, I think mass adoption of the HEIF format will be determined by browser vendors. If future version of Chrome and Firefox bring support for HEIF, the format will take off in a big way. HEIF images are half size of their JPEG counterparts, meaning webpages that use them will load faster and consume less bandwidth.
It will take some time but we’ll get there eventually, I’m sure.
Thoughts on HEIF?