Is The HEIC Format Not Ready for Prime Time?

Taking the Advanced Placement examinations (AP exams) is an important step for high school students who wish to enter colleges. The year-long preparations of taking courses and mock exams in stressful to millions of students. The culmination of the stress takes place on the actual exam. Supposedly, once the students submitted their answers, they could lay back and relax for a bit. For many, that didn’t happen.

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Why HEIC Format is Not Ready for Prime Time

In the recent AP exam, the exams were made online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although students didn’t have any problem with the multiple-choice questions, the written part turned out to be a headache.

Thousands of students cannot submit their written answers for their AP exam because they snapped the photos using iPhones. The problem was, the system didn’t recognize the HEIC image format that iPhones created by default.

“Surely, the students could just switch to JPEG?”

They could, but they didn’t even know they should. No one in the College Board even knew that the HEIC format would be a problem. Their warning and suggestion to switch to JPEG came late. Thousands of students already became victims due to system limitations. Now, those unfortunate students have to retake the exam. That’s another pile of stress on their shoulders. All of it is none of their faults.

Apple didn’t make the switch to JPEG easy too. The setting is buried deep, and the conversion took minutes. It’s not a task that stressed students can do in a jiffy.

“So, the HEIC format is a baddie now?”

Not quite. The HEIC format is an excellent format. It produces excellent images that are smaller in size compared to JPEGs. The problem here lies solely on the system that cannot recognize this format even though millions of Apple gadgets use it natively.

“Should I set my iPhone to save images in JPEG?”

That’s entirely up to you and how you wish to use your images. If you have many images snapped using iPhones or iPads, you can also use the online image converter to convert those images into any format you wish. Android users who wish to convert HEIC images can use the tool too.

“Wait? Android phones can shoot HEIC images?”

Yes, the Snapdragon 855 supports this image file, so Android devices have the option to snap images and save them in HEIC format.

In the future, HEIC may have a solid advantage over JPEGs once more Android devices adopt the format. Its popularity will be even more prominent should Apple do a bit more to make the format popular too especially outside its ecosystem. That way, more systems will be ready to use the HEIC format, and the disaster that had befallen thousands of students on their AP exams won’t happen again.

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