H.265 Video Support on iPhone 6 Will Improve FaceTime over Cellular

Posted by at 12:20 pm on September 15, 2014

In addition to the more publicly-known features found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple’s tech specs page for the new models has revealed that they support H.265 video encoding and decoding, otherwise known as High Efficiency Video Coding. It allows the same quality of video as H.264, but using only half as much bandwidth — allowing FaceTime video-conferencing calls to maintain the necessary quality on cellular networks without requiring large amounts of data. It could foreshadow the option of multi-party FaceTime calls on broadband.


H.265 is not yet finalized, but exists as a draft standard at present, allowing implementations to be used in hardware and software. Because it is it computationally-intensive, H.265 is normally found only on desktop systems with strong processing power. For mobile, the technology would require some kind of hardware assistance in order to preserve battery life — leading to speculation that the new A8 processor includes a dedicated module for the codec, unlike previous iPhones. The CPU on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is said to be improved over the A7 by 25 percent, with graphics improved by 50 percent, reports AppleInsider.


The ability of the iPhone 6 line to support H.265 offers Apple the ability to cut the data usage of the feature in half – an advantage that could push the iPhone ahead of the competition in terms of video calling, and which may become a selling point. Though the standard is not yet widely adopted, the significant audience for FaceTime and its prominence as a major feature of OS X and iOS may move the technology even further into the mainstream, since users would no longer pay a penalty for FaceTime over cellular.

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