There’s no doubt that Apple’s new image format for iOS 11, called High-Efficiency Image Compression or Image File Format (HEIC and HEIF), is a tremendous space saver for iDevices running the latest iOS versions.
However, as is typical with Apple, its walled garden prevents anyone from outside its ecosystem from easily accessing its assets. HEIC files are no different.
Although there are numerous offline and online tools that can convert these files into regular .jpg and .png formats, the major operating systems of the world - Windows and Android - don’t currently offer native support. It may well come in the future, but at this point, there are very few choices.
As part of our efforts to study this landscape, we’ve reviewed one of the more reliable premium software applications for converting HEIC and HEIF image files into the more popular and shareable JPG and PNG. One of the better ones we’ve come across thus far is TunesBro HEIC Converter.
1. Features of the TunesBro HEIC Converter
This software was picked out of the pack because it is one of the few applications that can convert files natively on iOS 11 devices. In addition, it provides batch or single file options when converting HEIC and HEIF files to other image formats. That means, whether it’s just one photo you want to convert 100+ HEIC photos at a time, this is the tool you’ll want to use.
The conversion engine under the hood of this software application uses powerful AI algorithms, which is another reason why it stands out from the crowd of tools available for this purpose.
Use TunesBro HEIC Converter to magically turn those pesky OS-restricted HEIC files into something that can be shared across Android and Windows ecosystems with no loss of quality. Even Live Photos and Panorama shots are easily converted to more commonly used image formats.
Another unique feature of this software is that you can control the output quality of the images that you convert. For example, if you have limited storage capacity on a USB drive that you want to put hundreds of images into, you can reduce the quality of the output before the files are converted. That way you can control the balance between quality and storage space to get optimal results.
There’s also an option to keep the EXIF metadata intact during conversion, which can be very useful depending on the purpose of converting the images. Professionals should find this feature very handy.
In our extensive testing of the software, we found that there were extremely few instances where an image was not converted in a lossless manner, as promised. The fail rate was much lower than other premium software for HEIC to JPG conversation. There were a couple of issues with Live Photos on a large batch of images that we converted using TunesBro HEIC Converter, but on the second run, they converted perfectly. Nothing to worry about, but at least we know it’s not perfect.
On the UI front, the interface offers a pleasant color experience, which is important because a lot of downloadable apps have stark colors that can be hard on the eyes. This is especially true if you’re going to be doing a lot of batch conversions. The green theme is easy on the eyes to go high marks for that.
From a user experience (UX) perspective, the controls are as intuitive as they are minimal. No confusing menu choices or redundant options that distract from the main functionality, the instructions are clear enough for anyone to follow, and the process flow is pretty simple because most of the heavy lifting is done behind the scenes. All the user needs to do is pick the images from their device or their PC, choose the destination file type, location, quality and Exif option, and hit “Convert”.
In terms of pricing, TunesBro HEIC Converter comes in with a mid-range price point. Inexpensive if you’re going to be a regular user - which is most iOS 11 device owners - but a little bit pricey if you’re just converting one photo every once in a while. The best way to make it cost effective is to use is on a regular basis, in our opinion.
3. Overall Rating: 8/10
From a high-level perspective, TunesBro HEIC Converter gets an impressive 8 out of 10. The highest points are for usability and conversion quality, while the pricing is still a sticking point unless you’re going to be an avid user of the software.
Also, it is currently not available for macOS, which is a bummer because a lot of iPhone owners will also tend to use Mac machines rather than Windows. On the plus side, it supports all current Windows 10 machines, as well as Windows 8/8.1, Windows 7, Vista and XP.