Introducing the latest innovation shaking up the world of Android photography! The Snapdragon 855 chip is set to revolutionize the way we capture and share moments on our smartphones, thanks to a key feature that echoes Apple’s cutting-edge technology. Say hello to more streamlined photo storage and enhanced image quality on your high-end Android device, courtesy of this game-changing advancement.

In a bid to optimize digital photography, Qualcomm, the powerhouse behind the Snapdragon 855 chip, is embracing the High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) made famous by Apple. This move not only enables users to store twice as many photos in the same space compared to traditional JPEGs but also minimizes data usage when sharing those precious memories with friends and family.

Beyond just space-saving benefits, HEIF brings a host of other perks to the table. Think depth maps that add dimension to your images and the ability to create dynamic live photos akin to Apple’s signature feature. With Android devices now integrating HEIF support, both casual users and photography enthusiasts can expect a significant boost in their smartphone photography experience.

As Qualcomm integrates HEIF into its hardware, the future looks promising for Android users seeking to elevate their photography game. Stay ahead of the curve and make the most out of your device’s capabilities with this groundbreaking technology from

HEIF Emerges as a Leading Image Format

HEIF, a technology that once lingered in the shadows behind the popular JPEG format, has risen to the forefront recently. This transformation came about when Apple, a key advocate of a specific HEIF variant known as HEIC, integrated the technology into both its hardware and software offerings.

Not long after, Google’s Android Pie, also referred to as version 9.0, introduced support for HEIC file viewing earlier this year, with Windows 10 following suit shortly after. The inclusion of hardware support within Qualcomm processors is set to encourage smartphone manufacturers to enable the utilization of this technology for capturing photos.

According to Jacobowitz, “This will mark the premiere Snapdragon processor featuring dedicated hardware tailored for the HEIF format. This advancement will facilitate the swift and energy-efficient capture of HEIF photos through hardware integration.”

Qualcomm’s drive to enhance image processing within its chips and promote the integration of computer vision capabilities into smartphones is further exemplified by the Snapdragon 855. This chipset not only possesses the ability to detect, identify, and track objects within a scene but also enables depth assessment for applying portrait mode to 4K videos at an impressive 60 frames per second. Additionally, it offers electronic video stabilization to counteract shaky movements, and scene monitoring capabilities that benefit VR and AR devices in understanding spatial orientation.

The Snapdragon 855 is expected to feature in upcoming phone models from Samsung and other manufacturers, as announced by Qualcomm during the Snapdragon debut event in Maui, Hawaii.

Exploring the Advantages of HEIF

One of the standout qualities of HEIF is its ability to compress file sizes effectively. This can be particularly appealing as smartphone manufacturers often charge a premium for high-end models with expanded storage options, while mobile carriers frequently enforce data limitations.


The utilization of the Snapdragon 855 chip is instrumental in achieving this functionality.

However, HEIF offers more than just file compression when compared to the traditional JPEG format. It introduces a range of innovative features that cater to the capabilities of modern smartphone cameras. It’s essential to note that while HEIF sets the groundwork, the full realization of its advanced features relies on the implementation by smartphone manufacturers and camera applications.

Understanding HEIF and HEIC Formats

HEIF, or High-Efficiency Image Format, is an evolution of HEVC, High Efficiency Video Coding. While video and photo compression techniques differ, their primary goal remains the same: reducing file sizes while preserving image quality for viewers.

Imagine a future where your phone can store photos captured from three different lenses, all within half the usual storage space.

HEIF serves as a versatile image container that supports various compression technologies. For instance, when utilizing HEVC’s compression, the resulting photo format is known as HEIC, commonly observed in iPhone photos with the .heic extension.

Despite its current dominance, HEIF faces competition from emerging formats such as AVIF and JPEG XL. These challengers, although not as established as HEIF and HEIC, present a potential advantage of being devoid of patent royalties. In contrast, HEIC’s association with HEVC entails complex patent licensing issues for hardware and software manufacturers.

AVIF, endorsed by companies like Google, Netflix, and Mozilla, gains traction due to its superior compression and royalty-free status. Nathan Egge, a Mozilla senior research engineer, expressed optimism in AVIF’s future prospects in web environments, especially given the challenges posed by patent-locked formats like HEIC.

However, widespread adoption of these new formats faces hurdles due to the reluctance of browser makers to integrate technologies encumbered by patent restrictions. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a pivotal body shaping web standards, firmly opposes incorporating technologies entangled in patent licensing, casting doubt on seamless browser support for formats like HEIC.

Qualcomm’s latest flagship processor is set to adopt the same photo format technology that Apple has been championing. This move will enable users to store more photos on their high-end Android smartphones and potentially elevate the quality of their snapshots. Apple introduced High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) last year to enhance digital photography, gaining a competitive edge in the market. One of HEIF’s key advantages is that it reduces photo file sizes by half compared to JPEGs of the same quality, allowing users to store more images on their devices and minimize data usage when sharing photos.

HEIF offers additional features such as support for depth maps that capture the distance between objects in a scene and the ability to create live photos. These cutting-edge capabilities will now be available in the high-end segment of the Android market, catering to both casual photographers and serious enthusiasts. The goal of HEIF is to address the common issue of limited storage space for photos.

Qualcomm’s integration of HEIF support in its processors comes at a time when photo capture rates are at an all-time high, leading to storage constraints and data consumption concerns among users. By introducing dedicated hardware for HEIF in the Snapdragon 855 chip, Qualcomm aims to enable fast and efficient photo capture with minimal power consumption.

The Snapdragon 855 chip not only supports HEIF but also enhances image processing capabilities and promotes computer vision functionalities in smartphones. This technological advancement allows for object detection, depth assessment for portrait mode in videos, electronic image stabilization, and spatial tracking for VR and AR applications. The Snapdragon 855 chip will be featured in upcoming phones from manufacturers like Samsung, showcasing the industry’s commitment to innovation.


  1. What is HEIF, and how does it differ from JPEG?
    HEIF stands for High Efficiency Image File Format and offers superior compression that reduces file sizes while maintaining image quality, unlike traditional JPEG format.

  2. What are the advantages of using HEIF for smartphones?
    HEIF enables users to store more photos on their devices, reduces data consumption when sharing images, and supports advanced features like depth maps and live photos.

  3. Which Qualcomm processor features dedicated hardware support for HEIF?
    The Snapdragon 855 chip is the first Qualcomm processor to incorporate dedicated hardware for HEIF, allowing for efficient photo capture.

  4. How does HEIF contribute to advancements in smartphone photography?
    HEIF enhances image processing capabilities, promotes computer vision functionalities, and supports innovative features in smartphone cameras.


The integration of HEIF support in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 chip represents a significant advancement in smartphone photography technology. By leveraging HEIF’s superior compression and advanced features, users can expect to store more photos on their devices and enhance their photography experience. As smartphone manufacturers adopt this technology, users can look forward to improved image quality, reduced data usage, and innovative camera functionalities. Take your smartphone photography to the next level with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 chip and explore the endless possibilities of HEIF-enabled devices.