A photo format called HEIC means images take half
the storage space as with JPEG. But you'll need a
smartphone processor that can handle it.
The good news is that the next version of Google's
Android smartphone software, Android P, has a feature
JPEG. The bad news is there's no guarantee that every
phone will actually be able to use it.
That's because of hardware and patent licensing limits
on the technology used, called High Efficiency Image
Format (HEIF). To get full benefits, phone makers will
have to pay for high-end hardware and license patents
to use it.
You may have heard the term last year, when Apple was
championing the technology in iOS 11 and its latest iPhones.
Now Google's coming around to it.
Halving the amount of storage space that photo files
consume -- and the amount of data they siphon off your
monthly network plan when you're sharing or syncing --
is a great benefit. But it's still not clear how well HEIF will
deliver that benefit for Android users.
On iPhones, Apple made sure its chips can handle HEIF
and resolved the patent hassles. But all bets are off in the
world of Android, where there are thousands of differentphone models from hundreds of manufacturers.