Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have finally added support for the new AVIF image format, following streaming video sites Netflix, Windows 10 operating systems, VLC video players, and some image editors. As a new image format, AVIF’s biggest features are lightweight and unauthorised. AVIF is more efficient than existing image formats such as JPEG, PNG, and even WebP, and is appreciated by companies such as Netflix.
AVIF, also known as the AV1 image file format, is characterized by the use of open source, royalty-free AV1 encoding compression and storage in heIF file format.
AV1 is understood to have originated from a video codec format developed by Google, Cisco, Xiph.org (also in partnership with Mozilla) in 2015. Shortly after its launch, it quickly became one of the most popular royalty-free video codecs on the market.
As AV1 matured, the Open Media Consortium behind it decided to push the boat down to create a new image file format that uses AV1 compression algorithms to reduce the image volume of other web scenarios.
With the east wind of AV1, AVIF image formats quickly gained traction with many businesses. In the second half of 2018, for example, Netflix, the streaming video site, has already provided support for it, even before the standards are officially approved in February 2019.
Soon, developers of more streaming video sites, as well as video players such as VLC and image editors such as GIMP, were flocking to AVIF image formats.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft introduced SUPPORT for AVIF in the Windows 10 2019 May Update (Version 1909), which greatly facilitated the adoption of new image formats.
Users can correctly identify and load AVIF-format images with applications such as Paint and File Manager on Windows 10 by simply installing the correct AV1 video codec (free download) from the Microsoft Store.
In the coming months, many more developers will add support for AVIF image formats for their own software, such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox in the web browser space.
Driven by the giants, it is believed that many third-party web browsers based on the Chromium kernel will also accelerate their follow-up.
Mozilla is understood to have been trying to add support for the AVIF image format to The Firefox browser since January 2020, initially scheduled to be released with Firefox 76 in May.
Unfortunately, Mozilla eventually delayed this feature update due to the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the new coronavirus. If all goes well, it is expected to arrive with Firefox 80 in August.
As for Google Chrome, it plans to release it with Chrome 85 sometime in August, and will then enable support for AVIF image formats to be enabled by default to all users.
Gerrit noted in an article that Google has skipped the feature testing phase directly because it believes there is only a fairly low risk of adding support for AVIF image formats in browsers.