AVIF(AV1 Image File Format) is based on the AV1, which is a popular video codec that was developed in 2015, in cooperate of Google, Cisco, and Xiph.org (who also worked with Mozilla).At that point in time, these three companies planned to introduce an open-source and royalty-free alternative which inspired from their respective in-house video codecs (VPX, Thor, and Daala) to dominate the video streaming market in the late 2000s and early 2010s.
After it was rolled out, AV1 didn’t take long to establish itself as one of the best video codecs on the market. As AV1 matured, the Alliance for Open Media, the organization behind AV1, also decided to create an image file format that used AV1 compression algorithms to reduce the size of images on the web and elsewhere.
Even before the new image standard was formally approved in February 2019, Netflix streaming service rolled out support for AVIF images in late 2018. With this, AVIF didn’t take long to gain adoption by other apps like the VLC video player, the Gimp image editor, etc…
Microsoft added support for AVIF in the Windows 10 May 2019 Update makes the biggest boosts of the image format. AVIF images will now load natively on Windows 10 native applications like Paint and File Explorer if the user installed proper AV1 video codec from the Microsoft store.
Firefox was the first browser to announce support for AVIF and planned to launch in May with Firefox 76.Although coronavirus pandemic delayed those plans and release process pushed to the end of August with Firefox 80.
Chrome will enable AVIF support by default to all users in August once Chrome 85 is live. As Google believes there’s “low risk” to adding this AVIF support to the Chromium browser engine, most probably the testing phase will skip. As a result, other Chromium-based browsers such as Edge, Vivaldi, Opera, and Brave will also support AVIF at the end of the year.