Apple seems determined to ensure that you do things their way. First there was iTunes, then they took away our audio jacks. Now, since the release of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra in 2017, they have their own image format: HEIC. If you’re one of the nearly 50% of smartphone users in the US that has an iPhone, there’s a good chance you’re using it already.
As with all things Apple, their bespoke image format is both advanced and not exactly compatible with the rest of the market. Most companies don’t support it yet, and most employers and programs are still requiring older image formats. So, you’re probably wondering what’s the best and easiest way to make those fancy pictures reusable.
What’s The Difference?
PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics and was standardized in 2004. It was developed as a replacement for the older GIF format, to be used for transferring images over the internet. It doesn’t support moving images, or colors outside of the RGB palette, so it’s not great for printing purposes.
Image sizes are generally much larger than HEIC, but as it is still the most used file format for sharing pictures online, it won’t be going anywhere just yet.
HEIC (.heic or .heif)
HEIC stands for High Efficiency Image Coding, and it’s Apple’s version of HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format), first standardized in 2013. Its main claim to fame over preceding formats is that it takes up much less memory than other file types with no loss of quality, while also supporting moving images. It’s more versatile, supporting a wider range of colors in greater depth, and can have thumbnails embedded as part of the file.
For Windows users, onboard support HEIC is now provided by most modern graphics cards, so if you’re a gamer you should already be equipped to view them on your computer. If not, the easiest thing to do is to download the required extension from the Microsoft Store, as long as you’ve kept your Windows 10 installation up to date.
For Mac users, if you’re using a device with iOS 11, High Sierra, and up, you should already be good to go.
How To Convert Your Images
Make Your Phone Do It
Assuming you have an iPhone, by far the easiest way to convert from HEIC is to get the phone to do it for you.
Simply go to your Settings app, tap on Photos, then head down to the last option, which is titled ‘Transfer to Mac or PC’. Select ‘Automatic’, and from now on your phone will convert them for you whenever you send images over.
If you want to have a copy of the original image file on your computerhttps://www.novodasoftware.com/ as well as the converted one, you have a few options.
An easy to use, free online service that can handle 20 images at a time, up to a file size of 50MB. It doesn’t require an email sign-up, handles the parameters for you, and most importantly it doesn’t keep a copy of anything you upload, unlike some of the other offerings. They promise that all your data will be deleted after one hour.
A more versatile offering, Aconvert’s free online image converter can change pretty much any type of image into a different format. You can change the size of the converted image, and it can handle files of up to 200MB and supports converting in batches.
After conversion you’ll be provided with a link to the image online, as well as options to save it to various cloud-based storage providers, or to download all the submitted images as a compressed ZIP archive.
Aconvert deletes your data 2 hours after uploading, and provides you with a delete button along with the links if you don’t want your data to be stored even that long.
iMazing HEIC Converter
Free, small to download, and simple to use. This handy little program can handle entire folders at once and can convert to PNG or JPG. It can change the quality of the converted image, and allows you to keep or strip the attached EXIF data (such as the time and date it was taken, the camera make and settings, and other details). Available for PC and Mac.
Fonepaw HEIC Converter
Another simple and free program. It has similar capabilities to the iMazing converter, with the added option of choosing a default place to save your converted images, and a variety of language choices. Also available for both PC and Mac.
What the HEIC? That’s Mine!
There you have it: the easiest ways to convert HEIC to PNG. With any one of these simple tools, you’ll be able to share your images online without any more compatibility woes.
For example, heictojpg.com, which is one of the top results on Google when you look for an image converter, takes rights to everything you upload. By using their website, you give them permission to use your images. Painful as it is, read the small print if you don’t want to accidentally release your content into the wild for free.