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Photo Format That Could Save Space on Your Phone Is Banned by Chrome

What’s going on
The JPEG XL photo format, which has advantages in terms of image quality and space savings, will no longer be supported, according to the Chrome team at Google.

What’s at stake
Google favors AVIF, a competitor format it co-created. However, JPEG XL has several benefits that photographers would find appealing, and the dispute may mean that we’re stuck using plain old JPEG for an even longer period of time.

The excellent image quality and drastically reduced storage requirements of the new JPEG XL standard convinced the Adobe photo experts to adopt the technology. But the Google Chrome team recently stopped providing support.

Technology that reduces photo file sizes sounds fantastic when you have to choose between paying an extra $100 for a phone with more storage space. But getting there is proving to be a challenge.

Since 2021, JPEG XL has been the industry standard, although Google prefers AVIF, a rival format it co-developed, while Apple iPhones use HEIC, still another format.

JPEG XL offers benefits beyond only space reduction. Because it was designed for photography, it preserves textures and fine details better than video-derived formats like AVIF and HEIC. Another way that JPEG XL enhances image quality is by supporting HDR, which is one of the reasons Adobe, a company that is typically cautious about endorsing new file formats, did so. Facebook commends the speed of JPEG XL, and Intel considers it to be the greatest next-generation photo format.

Although it doesn’t have veto authority over JPEG XL’s destiny, Google may effectively prevent its adoption on the internet as the creator of the most popular browser in the world.

Industry standard disputes are a frequent issue that delays the introduction of new technologies and, in the short term, confuses consumers. Millions of customers suffered as a result of the 1980s VCR video recording industry’s fragmentation, exemplified by the battle between Betamax and VHS. Although Apple is abandoning its Lightning port, smartphone charging is split between USB-C and Lightning. Before the Qi standard defeated incompatible alternatives, wireless charging was not widely adopted.

JPEG, which has been around for many years, will continue to hold a central position in the photo industry as the industry works out its problems. Therefore, you could want to invest in additional storage through Apple iCloud, Google Photos, or your phone.

Google refuses to support JPEG XL.
Do not anticipate Google to modify its position.

According to a statement released by the firm on Wednesday, “after our effort to support JPEG-XL in Chrome, we decided that it did not provide meaningful benefits over AVIF, and unlike AVIF, JPEG-XL has not been embraced by other browsers.” We won’t be supporting JPEG-XL at the moment; instead, we’ll keep working to make Chrome’s current formats better.

Today, Chrome supports JPEG XL, which is frequently referred to by its filename extension—JXL—but only after you manually enable it through a very complicated procedure. Google eliminated the JPEG XL support for Chrome versions that will launch in the future weeks in a software upgrade on Friday. Google dropped the JPEG XL format due to a variety of reasons, including poor acceptance, insufficient benefits, and a desire to enhance “existing formats,” according to a statement released on Sunday.

As a result, there have been a ton of comments in support of JPEG XL in the feature tracking system, including those from longstanding supporter and standard creator Jon Sneyers. In a response, he stated, “I think it’s fairly evident that JPEG XL does in fact contribute elements that previous formats don’t have.”

Fans of JPEG XL include Adobe, Facebook, Intel, and even Google Sneyers works for Cloudinary, a supporter of JPEG XL and provider of internet infrastructure, and he has a number of significant allies.

Before Google decided to discontinue JPEG XL, senior developer at Adobe Eric Chan stated in an August statement that “I feel that JPEG XL is now the best available codec for broad distribution and consumption of HDR still photographs.” I’ve conducted numerous AVIF comparisons and like JPEG XL due to its greater adaptability and quicker encode time.

Dispute over photo format
You may fit twice as many photos into your phone with JPEG XL.
Apple Supports the AVIF Photo Format for iOS 16’s Faster Web
The top smartphone camera for 2022
Customers of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, who frequently export hundreds or thousands of photographs, should pay special attention to speed, according to him. Photoshop comes with built-in JPEG XL support from Adobe, but it has to be manually turned on.

According to Erik Andre, a member of the Facebook pictures team, speed is another important factor in why Facebook prefers JPEG XL.

In order for HDR technology to cover a wider spectrum of light and dark tones, Intel views JPEG XL as a critical enabler. The key gap in this ecosystem is browser compatibility, according to Roland Wooster, an Intel principal engineer who also oversees HDR standardization efforts at the

In an article published in August, the VESA display standards group discussed whether Mozilla’s Firefox should support JPEG XL.

Even Google has its admirers. According to Jyrki Alakuijala, a researcher who worked on the development of many compression methods, JPEG XL is the most robust and feature-rich alternative among the new picture formats.

Adobe announced on Wednesday that it is thinking about AVIF: “Recently, Adobe released Camera Raw 15.0 as a Technology Preview with support for High Dynamic Range. This contains the ability to read and write JPEG XL images, “As per Adobe. The AVIF format, like JPEG XL, may be used for HDR output, so we are now looking into adding support for it.

Facebook’s parent company Meta and Mozilla declined to comment. Intel declined to respond.

Is AVIF the way of the future for our photos?
There are more ways to enhance image quality on the web besides JPEG XL. The Alliance for Open Media’s AV1 video format has an offshoot called AVIF, which is heavily backed by Google. Similar to JPEG XL, AVIF is free of royalties, enables HDR, and benefits from multi-core current CPUs for increased speed.

AVIF was created with assistance from Mozilla and is present in both Chrome and Firefox. Apple’s MacOS 13 and iOS 16 now support AVIF in Safari. Due to patent licensing restrictions, HEIC is unlikely to be successful as a web format.

When compared to JPEG XL, AVIF has various disadvantages, such as a bad reputation for being slower to produce. That might impede phone burst mode shooting and slow down online photo presentations. Additionally, AVIF lacks a “progressive” option that immediately uploads a blurry image to a website before adding information. Thus, items on webpages load more steadily.

AVIF might defeat JPEG XL if popular brands back it.

But do not anticipate learning anything quickly. Consider upgrading to a phone with 512GB of storage rather than 256GB the next time you do so.

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