Supporting HEIC and HEIF

For US users, it is really important to handle HEIC and HEIF image formats, otherwise, you are making it more difficult for iPhone owners.

Supporting HEIC and HEIF
Photo by Karsten Winegeart / Unsplash

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.

Students Are Failing AP Tests Because the College Boards Can't Handle HEIC Images - Slashdot

Even Image CDNs like 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.

Upload file API

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.