IOS photo file formats
Why your new iPhone photos may not show up on your website
Did you take the best ever photo on your iPhone and upload it to your WordPress website, only to find it’s the wrong format and won’t display? This is a fairly recent problem caused by new IOS photo file formats becoming standard within Apple products.
File formats are indicated by the letters that come after the dot on the photos’s filename. These letters, called the file extension, tell you what kind of document you are looking at. They will even tell you whether or not that file will open on the computer you are using.
For example, document.pages (the extension is .pages) will probably not open on a windows computer, because Pages is an Apple word-processor. Likewise, document.docx, created by the Windows word-processor Word, will open on a mac computer (because Apple is slightly smarter) but if you edit it and try to save it, it will turn into document.pages.
What does this mean for photos?
Photos have their own dedicated extensions but not all of them can display on the web. Browsers, the software on every computer that decodes and displays websites, can only read three file formats: .jpg, .png and .gif. Anything else (.tiff, .psd etc) will show up as a blank. Until recently, most cameras, phones and tablets produced their photos in the universal jpeg (.jpg) format, which made things nice and easy.
But this is changing. Image formats are diversifying: IOS in particular is prioritising image compression over compatibility, and this is creating more work for those of us who dabble in websites. Ipads and iPhones, by default, now take photos in either .heif or .heic formats.
These acronyms stand for High Efficiency Image Format or High Efficiency Image Container. They may produce higher quality images than jpegs, but make no mistake, they will not display on a website. You may even struggle to see them if you download them to a Windows computer rather than a Mac. You must convert heics and heifs to jpegs before uploading to your website.
Save your IOS photo file formats as .jpg, not .heif or .heic
There are ways to batch-convert your heifs and heics to jpegs, using Apple software. But if you regularly take photos for websites, we suggest you change the settings on our iPhone so that it saves all of them as jpegs. Here’s how to do it:
- Tap the “settings” icon;
- Swipe the screen down slightly to reveal the search box, which will appear near the top of the screen;
- Into the search box, type “camera” and press return;
- Click the “Formats” option at the top of the list;
- Choose “Most compatible”, not “High efficiency”. You’re done.
See the screenshots by clicking on the thumbnails below.
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