Apple’s new HEIC format for images on iOS 11 is a fantastic development. Not only does it help memory-constrained iOS devices store more images, but it also uses a superior compression format that’s been used for years. They’ve simply applied the same principles to image compression and achieved some stunning results. HEIC is a little more than half the file size of the equivalent JPG file, so it’s not a small thing to do.
But there’s a problem with HEIC as well. Not all operating systems are comfortable handling this particular format, and no other platform offers native support. But Apple is Apple, right, so they do whatever they want and the rest of the world has to follow? In this particular case, it involves converting these heic image files so other operating systems can open them in their native formats such as JPG and PNG.
Today, we’re going to review a robust piece of software called TunesBro HEIC Converter. We’re going to put it through the hoops and see if it comes out unscathed in the end. The aspects we’re looking for a particularly related to conversion from HEIC and HEIF to JPG and PNG formats, whether or not the conversion quality is as good as the software makers claim it to be, and a few other aspects as outlined in this review.
First, let’s look at how the interface works.
The TunesBro HEIC Converter is unusually minimalistic without being simplistic. That’s quite a hard UI challenge to achieve, so high points for that right in the beginning.
We really love the way it’s laid out in two clear options – single image conversion and batch conversion. With most other software you either have to hunt around for the batch option or you simply assume that it’s there and then get a rude shock when it’s not!
The next thing we did was single photo conversion, which took us to a new page that had an equally clear layout. You had the image lists and import options on the left, and the conversion parameters on the right panel. Nice.
What I really liked about the UI is that there don’t seem to be any unnecessary extra buttons. You see exactly what you need to get the job done. Again, a rare feat in the world of messy UIs and confusing UXes.
Settings and Parameters
The next aspect is the features list at the pre-conversion stage. With most other software you’ll either see nothing or just one option for image output quality. With the TunesBro software, you’ll see the option for output format, a quality setting, the choice to keep Exif data (which is very useful) and a destination folder option. This is more or less exactly what you need for a proper conversion. If you’re doing a batch, for example, you don’t want them to be saved in a default location that might not have enough memory. The layout is different for the single conversion mode, which is great because you can see that care has been taken to not just use an existing layout and make it fit for a different purpose. That’s great to see.
Quality of Converted Images
The conversion quality was certainly impressive. We tested it out against several other HEIC conversion tools – both downloadable applications and online utilities – and TunesBro came out among the top three solutions.
One thing I might change about the software is to possibly offer a few more output format options just to make it attractive to more users. But other image formats don’t have the kind of quality that HEIC, JPG and PNG can offer so perhaps it wouldn’t be the best of trade-offs.
On the price front, this utility is about $30 for the full license. The good thing is that there’s a free trial version so you can take it out for a test drive before you actually purchase a license. But to be honest, thirty bucks is a little steep if you’re only doing one or two conversions a week.
If you’re doing regular batches then it’s worth the money, but if you’re just going to be sending the occasional image to a friend or family member and you don’t really care about quality, then a free online option is probably better for you. But to be fair, that’s entirely subjective. $30 might not seem like a lot to many people even if they’re only going to use it once in a while. Besides, it’s a lifetime license so there’s that to consider.
Here’s where you can get a copy of the TunesBro HEIC Converter
The Final Word
Overall we would rate the TunesBro HEIC Converter a 9 out of 10, with only two other software solutions being able to match that score. The bulk of utilities out there would only get a 7 or lower score from us because of a lack of options, limits on batch conversions, conversion quality and so on.