Students failing college AP test due to unsupported HEIC iPhone photo format
Reply 41 of 41
May 24, 2020 12:59AM
There's a technical detail that has not been mentioned here. When iOS uploads .heic photos (as well as .hevc videos), all the EXIF data are striped. The information stored in EXIF includes time and date, GPS coordinates, shutter speed, camera type, etc. This is the behavior only seen on iOS. What if the website would like to use these information to assist verifying students' submissions? Say, the time and geographic location. Then there's no way to do it, even the site supports the .heic format itself. This is a "silent failure" introduced by iOS, which is not mentioned in any Apple documents. This issue has been reported by various websites, such as:
On the MacOS side, fortunately, all the .heic and .hevc EXIF data will be kept when uploaded through Safari.
In the Android world, let's take a look at Samsung. The latest flagship Galaxy S20, .heic format is supported, however, it's not the default mode. And it has a warning of "Some sharing sites might not support this format" if you choose this format. Also, the .heic photos' EXIF will not be striped during web upload.
My personal opinion - I vote for the push of .heic format from Apply as it's the next generation of image format, and this is the right way to go. However, I disagree with iOS's "silent action" of striping the EXIF data if we do a web upload. Because that's an unexpected / incompatible behavior which breaks things without any warning. This could be one of the considerations that prevents some websites from adopting the .heic format.