Chrome to Add Support for AVIF Image Format

Google Chrome will soon add support for AV1 Image File Format (AVIF), a new image format developed by Alliance for Open Media, supported by companies like Microsoft and Netflix.

We spotted a code change request today in the Chromium repository for this feature.

AV1 Image File Format (AVIF)

According to WikiPedia:

“The AV1 Image File Format (AVIF) is a specification for storing images or image sequences compressed with AV1 in the HEIF file format.[121] It competes with HEIC which uses the same container format, build upon ISOBMFF, but HEVC for compression. Version 1.0.0 of the specification was finalized in February 2019.”

You can find the technical specification for this new image format here. You can also find more information on this article by Netflix as well. Netflix has a few sample images for comparison as well.

AVIF Sample by Netflix
AVIF Sample by Netflix

Support in Chrome

The code commit that we spotted today talks about adding support for this feature by default “Enable the AVIF image format by default”. It further explains that due to technical challenges, Chrome will enable this feature by default to test it with “a partner”:

“A Finch experiment for AVIF also have the difficulties of enabling the feature for a large enough user population and coming up with meaningful A/B tests. Therefore enabling the feature by default seems to be the best option for conducting a large-scale experiment with a partner.”

Support for Chromium-based Browsers

The code is added to the Blink rendering engine. This means AVIF support will come to all browsers using the Blink. This includes Opera, Chromium-based Edge, and Brave, etc.

Source: Gerrit and bugs.chromium.org.

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