I hadn't really paid much attention to developments in new image formats, sticking to the tried and true SVG for vectors; PNG for transparency and simple graphics; JPG for photos or highly detailed works and GIF for smaller animations. in 2015 the High Efficiency Image Coding (HEIC) came around and Apple made it the default in iOS 11 for the camera. While it means great quality photos that take up less room it can lead to compatibility issues with your other devices as I've just found out.

I was suffering from the dreaded "your device has malfunctioned" while trying to copy some photos from my iPhone, even using the genuine cable - this is nothing unusual, I've always experienced this with many iOS devices and with many Windows computers, and while reminding myself this never happened on Android where you can have direct access to the storage as a filesystem I did a quick internet search. There were discussions of a setting one could change to remedy the issue (Settings - Photos - Transfer to Mac or PC - Keep Originals). While the iOS device is connected to a computer using a USB cable the default behaviour is to, on the fly, convert the HEIC images into JPEGs as they get transferred out. It's so seemless that even when plugged in it shows the photos as ending in .JPG when they aren't actually .JPGs. Rather it would be seemless if it worked, I don't know if it's a problem with the transfer speed or the device can't convert them quickly enough but it fails needing to replug the phone in.

After changing the setting I was able to download all of the HEIC photos off the device with no errors! Hoorah! Except, well, what do I do with all these HEIC photos? Windows isn't displaying thumbnails for them, they won't open with the built-in Photos app even after confirming the Codecs have been correctly installed from the Microsoft Store app. I can't even open them with Photoshop. They did open with GIMP but that was cumbersome and I didn't want to run them through there one at a time. There are websites to convert them but I don't want to upload my personal photos, 20 at a time, to an unknown website. I ended up having to download an iffy third party program to convert them.

I do like what HEIC offers but it's a shame it's so unsupported at the moment. There is a way in iOS to change the camera app capture method (Settings - Camera - Formats - Most Compatible) to always capture in JPEG but it has the side effect of disabling 1080p at 240fps and capturing outside the frame.