There is a new technology that can slash your video size by up to half without sacrificing quality and resolution. How do you switch to this new technology?
This new generation video technology is called “HEVC”. Technically, it is called “H.265”. At the time of writing, only Apple has implemented this new technology natively in their operating systems: iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 (High Sierra). So, for those using Android or Windows, they will have to wait. In due time, all the others will follow the lead of Apple and support this new technology, supplanting the older H.264 video technology.
To switch to this new video technology, here are some tips:
Only Apple devices with the A10 Fusion chips can capture videos in HEVC format. That means only iPhone 7 or later and 2017 iPad Pro can do that. To ensure that your iOS device’s camera will capture videos in HEVC format, go to Settings -> Camera -> Formats, and ensure the “High Efficiency” is selected.
All iOS devices running iOS 11 and all Macs running macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) will be able to play HEVC videos, at least in theory. But note that older iOS devices may not be powerful enough to play HEVC videos smoothly. Older iOS devices with A8 chips and earlier (e.g. iPod Touch 6th generation, iPhone 5s/6) may stutter and choke on attempting to play HEVC videos.
Because HEVC is such a new technology, and Apple is the only one implementing it natively on their latest operating systems, you will run into compatibility issues when you try to share your videos with those whose devices/computers cannot support HEVC (pretty much all the non-Apple ones). Therefore, Apple has taken the step to automatically convert HEVC videos to older and more compatible format whenever you share your HEVC videos with those devices/computers. This happens very transparently.
However, if you want to disable the automatic conversion, you need to go to your iOS device‘s Settings > Photos > Transfer to Mac or PC and select the Keep Originals option. If you don’t do that, you will find your HEVC videos unwittingly converted to the older and bigger formats when you transfer them to your Mac/PC.
Converting existing videos to HEVC
Now, here is the fun part. How do you upgrade your existing videos to the HEVC format so that you can save storage space? I recommend this macOS app: H265 Converter Pro. It’s very simple to use, convenient and hassle-free. Just load the video files and it will prompt you for the destination folder where you want to store the converted video. Then press the Start button.
When you air-drop HEVC video files from your Mac to your iOS device, an automatic conversion to the older and bigger format may occur. To prevent this from happening, I use PhotoSync to ensure that HEVC video files are transferred as-is without any automatic conversion.