HEIC vs JPEG: What’s the difference and which is better?

HEIF and JPEG are two types of digital image file formats, HEIC is the file extension of HEIF(High Efficiency Image File Format) file format. In this article, we will do HEIC vs JPEG comparison.

We will consider the following factors for HEIC vs JPEG comparison.

  • Year of Invention
  • File extension
  • Image Quality
  • Compression technology
  • Animation support
  • Storage space
  • Color depth
  • Operating systems support
  • Browser support

Year of invention

JPEG is a much older and widely used image file format. The Joint Photographic Experts Group invented JPEG image format in 1992. HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) file format was introduced in 2015, it was developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group. HEIF format was first adopted by Apple with the introduction of iOS 11 in 2017.

File extension

The commonly used file extensions of JPEG image files are “.jpeg”,”.jpg” whereas the file extensions of HEIF files are “.heic”,”.heif”, “.avif”.

Image Quality

The major difference is in the image quality, HEIF images are higher quality than equivalent JPEG images.

HEIC vs JPEG image quality comparison
HEIF vs JPEG image quality ( Source: nokiatech )

Compression technology

The base of JPEG compression is the discrete cosine transform (DCT), a lossy image compression technique first proposed by Nasir Ahmed in 1972. To save storage space images need to be compressed, lossy compression means during the compression some of the details will be lost. Less sensitive visual details for human vision are removed from the image.

HEIF image compression is based on High Efficiency Video Coding(HEVC/H.265). HEVC offers higher compression than other methods.

Animation support

HEIC has multiple images support and animation support but JPEG does not support animation.

Storage space

HEIC file requires less storage space than the equivalent quality JPEG. HEIF compresses 40-50% similar images in JPEG.

HEIC vs JPEG file size comparison
File size comparison

Color depth

HEIC files can able to capture 16-bit colors, but JPEG only supports 8-bit colors. HEIC images will be more vibrant and display true colors compared to JPEG images.

Operating systems support

All major desktop and mobile operating systems (Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, etc) support JPEG files.

HEIC supported operating systems

  • Windows 10 and later
  • Ubuntu 20.04 and later
  • MacOS High Sierra
  • iOS 11 and later
  • Android 8 (Oreo) and later

Browser support

HEIC web browser support is limited, but Google Chrome and Firefox have experimental support. All major browsers support JPEG image format.


In conclusion, HEIF image file format offers more compression and image quality than JPEG. Wide adoption of this image format might happen in the near future.

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