A few days ago, Microsoft released Edge 121 in the Beta Channel for final testing before pushing it to the Stable Channel somewhere at the end of the next month. Besides things mentioned in the release notes, Edge 121 will finally catch up with Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and other competitors in terms of AVIF image support. The change was announced on Mastadon by Patrick Brosset from the Edge development team:
It took Microsoft quite a while to deliver AVIF support in Microsoft Edge—the first traces of this image format were spotted in February 2023. For reference, Chrome became AVIF-compatible in 2020 when Google released Chrome version 85. Firefox received AVIF support in October 2021, and Safari joined the party in September 2023 in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura.
You can already try AVIF support in Microsoft Edge by downloading the latest Beta release from the official website. Head to this website to check if your browser supports AVIF. If not, the website will fall back to the JPEG format.
AVIF image format was developed by the Alliance of Open Media. The initial specification saw the light of the day on February 19, 2019. AVIF uses the AV1 codec and the HEIF container to deliver better compression efficiency and image quality. In other words, AVIF pictures take less disk space and display more details with fewer artifacts. Windows 10 and 11 already support AVIF—it was added in Windows 10 version 1903, which was released in the first half of 2019.
Microsoft plans to release Edge 121 in the Stable Channel on the week of January 25, 2024. Other changes in version 121 include a reworked update experience, with the latter moving from the browser’s settings to the “Browser Essentials” section in the sidebar. Microsoft says that should improve discoverability.