iOS 7 Safari (app icon, large)

Safari on iOS 8 has been found to support animated PNG images (APNG), a standard conceived as a replacement for animated GIF, as discovered by MacRumors on Monday.

The Animated Portable Network Graphics file format was proposed in 2004, but failed to take off as a replacement for the animated GIF file format widely used to embed short animations online.

Unlike animated GIFs, APNG files support 24-bit images and 8-bit transparency not available for GIFs.

According to Wikipedia, the APNG file format also retains backward compatibility with non-animated PNG files so browsers that don’t feature support for APNGs can still render still images.

As MacRumors points out, Safari on iOS 8 is capable of animating APNGs. If you are reading this article using Safari on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, the APNG embedded bellow should animate.

Animated PNG example (Bouncing Beach Ball 001)

Loading this webpage in any other browser, including Safari on non-Yosemite Macs, would only display the static image.

The PNG group rejected the proposed APNG specification back in 2007 due to the lack of support from major browser vendor. To this date, only Firefox has supported APNGs.

In addition to Safari on iOS 8, Safari on Yosemite has also been found to support APNGs.

And thanks to the WebKit changes Apple’s made on iOS 8, third-party applications are finally allowed to use the same speedy improved Nitro JavaScript as the stock Safari app.

The change benefits applications which embed the in-app browser, like Tweetbot and many others. Another example is Google’s Chrome, which on iOS 8 benefits from the speed gains provided by Safari’s improved JavaScript interpreter.

As a reminder, all App Store apps use the embedded Safari engine
because Apple does not allow third-party frameworks for web content.


  • boostedlex

    Firefox 32.0.3 running on MacPro loads the Animation

    • Fanboy 

      Hence the article, “To this date, only Firefox has supported APNGs”.

  • ClaudieX X

    Samsung Galaxy Note 4 units plagued by build issues. Welcome to Sgapn !!

    • Hyr3m

      So relevance
      Such related
      Very reviewer
      Much interesting

      • ClaudieX X

        If this words came from you… I’m on the right way

      • Hyr3m

        If you had to add something relevant to the article at the start of your comment after I replied to it… I was on the right way.

      • ClaudieX X

        If you are looking what I’m writing and what I’m changing… And make a comment for that… Im feeling like… You like me?

      • HooDatty

        Guys, take this over to plenty of fish. This is a tech blog. Not a dating service.

      • Hyr3m

        It’s called “memory”. Also, I would not have made my comment about the irrelevance of your comment if it had had that first sentence in it in the first place. It’s obvious you edited it and the fact you’re misreading my comment about it leaves me wondering what else you’re misreading and misunderstanding in life. You should go hug HooDatty because it looks like you both need it.

  • Doug Harper

    Tried it on my Mac that is running Yosemite and it is static on Chrome.

    • Hyr3m

      He did say “Safari on Yosemite”, not “any browser on Yosemite”…

      • Doug Harper

        Yes, I understand. Just reporting what I found.

      • Hyr3m

        Ah right… but we could have guessed as much from the article… Thanks for sharing though ;°)
        One occurence I’m wondering about is Firefox on pre-Yosemite.

      • HooDatty

        Sounds like u need a hug. Go get one from your other buddy, and leave the personals chat to sites that it belongs in.

      • ClaudieX X

        Hahaha excelent….

      • Hyr3m

        Not only is your comment irrelevant to the article, it’s also a personal message… Please follow your own advice and let the grown-ups talk in peace.
        (PS : I’m a guy and I get plenty of hugs but that doesn’t stop me from trying to be nice to people who deserve it. Also, try not to put your own issues onto other people; it shows you’re the one in need of a hug and the one who spends too much time on “plenty of fish” to apparently no avail.)

      • HooDatty

        Yep, I was right. You need a hug. Mommy didn’t give you enough. Or was it that daddy gave you too much?

      • Hyr3m

        Wow… stop telling everyone your life story…
        Also, go back to trolling school, kiddo.

  • Jose Gonzalez

    And there goes the need for Nitrous on Cydia!

  • abdullah575

    What did U benefited

    • Jeffrey Feuerstein

      Very yes good sentence.

      • HooDatty


  • Why doesn’t the animated png work on Safari for the Mac?

    • Anthony Snyder

      It works under Yosemite but not Mavericks.

  • nyangejr

    Hahahaha it’s working

  • DOOManiac

    Please let this be a start of new momentum of APNG. I’m tired of using ugly GIFs, and CSS/JS animation is too much work for simple things like a throbber…

    • David Villamizar

      Code based animations are better since improve load times.

  • JayDee917

    I don’t think APNG wil replace GIF’s mostly because the name isn’t as catchy.

    • KsbjA

      But at least the pronunciation is less ambiguous!

    • Luis Finke


  • Hyr3m

    What are you on about? Why not make that comment to HooDatty in the first place since he started with the whole “dating” and “hug” thing or to yourself and your “you like me” comments. Sounds like you’re just butthurt from that comment I first made about the irrelevance of your comment… get over it dude… It happens to the best of us.