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Android P adds HEIF support to Pixel devices

Google has released the developer preview of the upcoming Android P mobile operating system, which includes support for a display cutout – like the iPhone X “notch” – and High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF)-support. Android P devices will support the same HEIC version of the High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF) as the latest Apple iPhone. HEIC files are roughly half the size of JPEGs, and can include several photos as well as short videos.

Android P adds support for HEIF (heic) images encoding to the platform. HEIF still image samples are supported in the MediaMuxer and MediaExtractor classes HEIF improves compression to save on storage and network data. With platform support on Android P devices, it’s easy to send and utilize HEIF images from your backend server. Once you’ve made sure that your app is compatible with this data format for sharing and display, give HEIF a try as an image storage format in your app. You can do a jpeg-to-heic conversion using ImageDecoder or BitmapFactory to obtain a bitmap from jpeg, and you can use HeifWriter in the new Support Library alpha to write HEIF still images from YUV byte buffer, Surface, or Bitmap.

Android P also adds the capability to simultaneously access streams from two or more physical cameras, which could be useful for VR/AR applications:

You can now access streams simultaneously from two or more physical cameras on devices running Android P. On devices with either dual-front or dual-back cameras, you can create innovative features not possible with just a single camera, such as seamless zoom, bokeh, and stereo vision. The API also lets you call a logical or fused camera stream that automatically switches between two or more cameras.


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