Supporting HEIC and HEIF

date
Jan 11, 2021
published
slug
supporting-heic-and-heif-images
description
For US users, it is really import to handle HEIC and HEIF image formats, otherwise you are making it more difficult for iPhone owners.
Apple has always gone against the grain. They like to control there eco system, which not only means devices and the famous walled garden that is the App Store, but also homegrown file formats.
Sadly this can have real impact when developers do not handle it correctly. Recently it was reported that students are failing AP exams, because they could not upload photos of there hand written essay. Basically the image upload process did not support HEIC or HEIF files.
Even Image CDNs like ImageKit.io does not allow HEIC or HEIF file format. And it’s hard not to blame them, since they are based in India. Most of the world runs on Android and does not have this problem from a global perspective. That being said, in the US, the iPhone has a very large percent of the market and can’t be ignored.
So until they do support that, we have to setup a interment step to allow the processing of images. That is where heic-convert comes in. I was sad to see how underused this module is with only ~2,000 downloads per week as of this writing. My concern is that this is showing that many people do not try and solve this issue and instead allow the US user to deal with this. Typically converting the files locally, or saving them in a less good format.