For iOS 16 and macOS Ventura, Safari will support AVIF

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It took ten years for Safari to support WebP, and there were concerns that Apple might again take several years to support AVIF. Fortunately, Apple isn’t waiting that long. On June 22, 2022, an Apple software engineer confirmed in a bug ticket entitled, Support AVIF images for macOS Ventura and iOS 16, that AVIF images will be supported in Safari. The system frameworks will be used to render the AVIF images on macOS Ventura and iOS 16.

Since April 2021, WebKit has supported the AVIF next-generation picture format, while Safari has not. This is due to the fact that only image types supported by macOS and iOS may be processed by Apple’s web browser. AVIF support is finally making its way to Safari, according to two Apple software engineers and developer releases of macOS Ventura. The next-generation image format, AVIF, is expected to take the role of WebP. Firefox started supporting AVIF in January 2021, while Chrome added support for it in late 2020. In April 2021, WebKit implemented support for AVIF, but Safari did not. Despite having a WebKit foundation, Safari uses the operating system to process images. In other words, if iOS and macOS don’t support AVIF, neither does Safari.

Highlights

  • Add the mime type and the UTI of the AVIF to the list of the allowed image formats. The system frameworks will be used to render the AVIF images on macOS Ventura and iOS 16. Because of sand-boxing limitations, software decoding has to be used for AVIF images. Myles C. Maxfield, Apple Software Engineer, GitHub commit for “Support AVIF images for macOS Ventura and iOS 16”. Safari 16 in the beta 2 builds of macOS and iOS 16 don’t support AVIF yet, but the operating systems have limited support. For example, the Finder app shows a preview of AVIF images.

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