One of the new things Android 12 brings under its arm is support for a new image compression format, AVIF, the one with which Google aspires to be able to replace the eternal JPGs both in its own operating system and in Chrome OS, and even in Chrome, its browser for different platforms.
We’ve already seen a similar change to video on Android coming with the HEIF format premiere with Android 11, and now it’s the photographic section’s turn. In fact, the change makes a lot of sense, since HEIF and AV1 (the more technical name for AVIF) share the same standard, ISO-23000-12. And in the same way that HEIF in video offers the same quality in a much smaller size
What exactly is AVIF format
The name responds to a series of acronyms whose meaning is “AV1 Image File Format”, simplifying the last F so as not to be redundant. As for the HEIF format in video, the AVIF format is a container that allows you to store both static images and animations inside, so GIFs also have their place in the new format.
AV1, like HEIF, can store the same information as a WebP image but in 50% of its space. In other words, AVIF format images take up half the space of a WebP image, which in turn is already a significant saving compared to JPGs. Summing up a lot, an AVIF would occupy about a third of the weight of a JPG
The same image compressed in AVIF occupies a third as if we were to compress it in JPG
For example, in AVIF format, color depths up to 12 bits, Native HDR, monochrome formats, and lossless compression, known as lossless by its Anglo-Saxon name. In addition, AVIF supports any color space of those known to date as well as chroma subsamples (4: 2: 0, 4: 2: 2 and 4: 4: 4) and even the insertion of the film grain so classic of cinema.
The Webp format has been used for some time on the Internet by a Google which seeks to reduce not only the storage on its servers but also the traffic due to the more and more advanced use which we make of the network of networks. This arrival of the AVIF format on Android will also mean that the system will have more storage available, while it will cost less to move these images, with the memory and energy saving.
As of today, there is no better image compression than that offered by the AVIF format, even surpassing, as we have already said, the WebP which has come to improve JPG, PNG or GIF. And this support now reaches Android 12 natively, according to what was seen in the previous version for developers of the system which is already available and can be installed.