iPhone's HEIC Format Causing Some Students to Fail AP Exams, Here's How to Fix It

BaltimoreMediaBlog

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2015
813
1,292
DC / Baltimore / Northeast
I know this is only tangential, but I still have a dozen or so AOL ART format photos of people I took pics of or were shared to me on AOL that nothing will convert to anything viewable. I've been looking for years and everything says they are corrupt or it's a proprietary format. LOL

One day I will power up the trusty old PowerMac G5 and use AOL itself to convert them. Some of the pics actually have icons that say they are browser Plug-Ins now. So that format is REALLY abandoned! LOL
Steve Jobs really did know how to get even with companies he didn't like much like AOL. :D
 
Comment

ulyssesric

macrumors regular
Oct 7, 2006
175
143
Probably because the college board is unwilling to pay the royalties to use HEIC, leave it to Apple to screw students over in the name of profit. I hope the blue bubbles are worth having to retake your AP exams.
HEIF is a royalty-free open industrial standard created by MPEG organization in 2015, NOT an Apple priority technology. MPEG even shared a full set of open source example source codes of reader/writer in C and Java on GitHub.
 
Last edited:
Comment

Morgenland

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2009
750
730
Europe
Aha, that's it, my work iPad is a 5th gen. Also explains why we've only started seeing an issue with this recently as 6th and 7th gen iPads have been rolling out.

Would be handy if there was an Apple restriction on this as our main issue is Windows 10 doesn't open HEIC by default, there's a plugin in the MS Store but it can't be centrally deployed to our school computers.
Windows 10 doesn't open HEIC by default, there's a plugin in the MS Store.
If this is fact, isn’t it extremely embarrassing for Windows? Nevertheless I wouldn't be surprised...
 
Comment

SgtPepper12

macrumors 6502a
Feb 1, 2011
662
530
Germany
Windows 10 doesn't open HEIC by default, there's a plugin in the MS Store.
If this is fact, isn’t it extremely embarrassing for Windows? Nevertheless I wouldn't be surprised...
Safari doesn't open webm by default, for years it can't, for absolutely no good reason. Isn't that extremely embarrassing for Apple?
 
Last edited:
Comment

Morgenland

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2009
750
730
Europe
So that a society is not thwarted by too much stupidity, there are schools and universities. It is problematic if unqualified management personnel there does not put up anything sensible, they are bad role models.
 
Comment

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
9,639
3,615
i cannot understand how this problem was not identified earlier before the software went live.
Any software devs here that could explain?

It seems like an obvious thing...get an iphone, what lots of people in the US use, and try it before it goes live.
There are only two platforms after all...
If automated test can test your code a million times a week, why use human testers at all? /s

Seriously though, lacking human testing is one of the reason why nowadays apps are buggier and more prone for issues. I have run into this a good few times last week already.
 
Comment

konqerror

macrumors 68000
Dec 31, 2013
1,921
3,127
Wrong.

College Board isn't implementing an HEVC codec and the students are the ones distributing HEVC content (which Apple is the responsible party for any HEVC distribution legal issues). College Board isn't encoding and distributing any HEVC content so any "content fees" you're suggesting from Velos Media won't apply.

It doesn't make sense to charge a "viewer" (the end user which would be College Board in this case) of HEVC content since that would be literally hindering the adoption of this standard. In the past, MPEG-LA never charged any consumer of H264 content. They've only gone after distributors of internet video like Youtube (which they made free later).

Please do some more research. You really don't have any idea on what you're talking about here.
Again, you're totally wrong.

Read Apple's EULA. Use of their consumer-licensed AVC codec to say, record a business video is unlicensed activity. Now MPEG LA may not enforce this, but one can legitimately bring a lawsuit against such a user.

Again, you don't know what Velos Media's arrangement is. You're making guesses. The truth has been held confidential. Velos isn't even disclosing what patents they control. And again, you don't know what arrangements people are making with Cisco, technicolor, Blackberry, etc.

All we know is that with HEVC, you have to pay a large number of companies, or else you're open to lawsuits. Is that stupid? It sure is, and that's why AV1 is gaining popularity.
 
Last edited:
Comment

Basic75

macrumors 6502
May 17, 2011
337
379
This is also another example of Apple treating its customers as stupid, or plain being stupid itself, I mean why does it obfuscate with "most compatible" and not just say it like it is with "JPEG"?
 
Comment

konqerror

macrumors 68000
Dec 31, 2013
1,921
3,127
Apple profits from HEIC and HEVC licensing as they're part of the consortium.
Not true. All the major vendors like Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, etc. pay out far more than they receive. This situation held back in the H.264 days.

These companies make the majority of devices that use HEVC, yet they hold a slim slice of the patent pool. The largest holder in total is Samsung with 11%. Microsoft holds 2%, Apple doesn't even hold 1%.
 
Last edited:
Comment

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
9,639
3,615
How in the blazes do these people think it's easier to get everyone to change a setting on their phones than to just update the software to accept HEIC?

Any even slightly competent web developer can add the code to convert the image if it's in HEIC, and the libraries to do so are open source and free.
Letting the user to self correct programming error and subsequent design flaw saves much more money than just engineering a better design in the first place I think, for them.

Ahh, that’s where “you hold it wrong” comes from, dating back in 2010.
 
Comment

Tarmsu

macrumors newbie
May 21, 2020
2
0


Some high school students taking their AP exams online have run into serious trouble with the HEIC image format on the iPhone and the iPad, which does not work with the website the AP College Board uses to accept tests.


As outlined by The Verge, AP exams taken by high school students in the United States have a written component, and the exam requires students to take and upload a photo of their written responses.

Some high schoolers who used an iPhone to upload the photo ran into problems with the HEIC format, which would not upload and caused the students to fail the exam. There are thousands of students who will now need to retake their AP exams, and they're unhappy that the College Board did not anticipate the error before some of the exams were conducted.

The College Board has now provided express instructions to students, letting them know to swap over to a JPEG format on their devices or to convert an HEIC image to JPEG before submitting it. Here are the College Board's instructions:
  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to Camera and tap it.
  3. Tap on the Formats option.

  4. Select "Most Compatible."
With the Most Compatible option selected, photos will always be saved as JPEGs instead of in the HEIC file format.

Alternatively, students who have already saved exam photos as HEIC can convert them to JPEGs by mailing the photos to themselves using the Mail app on an iPhone or iPad, which the College Board says is the most reliable way to ensure a file conversion.

The College Board also plans to allow some students who run into issues submitting their tests to provide the images through email, and as mentioned above, the Mail app will do image conversions automatically. This is an option only for future exams, with students who already failed still required to retake the tests.

Apple has been using the HEIC image format since the 2017 release of iOS 11 because HEIC images are smaller than JPEGs, but the HEIC format has not been widely adopted by websites and internet services. Some newer Android smartphones also use the HEIC format.

Article Link: iPhone's HEIC Format Causing Some Students to Fail AP Exams, Here's How to Fix It
This student had the issue and talked about it in his video:
 
Comment

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
9,639
3,615
Not only related to this incident. But people today should put a little more interest in the technology they use, instead of just mindless tapping and watching tiktok, without any interest in how things work. Data responsibility is none existing after the cloud came to reality. Young people don’t care about where data lies, what format, and how it’s kept. This is a big worry, now and for future generations.
But company don’t want people research how their products work. “That’s trade secret, national security”. /s

Seriously though, “your data, your responsibility”. Just because your data is stored in a cloud doesn’t mean data is not yours anymore. No. Sadly I still see people from time to time not caring about their data or using cloud storage as their ONLY storage option.
 
Comment

bice

macrumors member
Aug 22, 2015
85
172
These minor irks tends to come with the usage of apple products.

Apple have been using the nubus bus interface but it has not been widely adopted by the industry ...
Apple have been using the SCSI harddisk interface but it has not been widely adopted by the industry ...
Apple have been using the ADB serial port interface but it has not been widely adopted by the industry ...
Apple have then been using the Firewire serial port interface but it has not been widely adopted by the industry ...
Apple have been using the Apple Display Connector but it has not been widely adopted by the industry ...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Shirasaki
Comment

Patrick Zhu

macrumors newbie
May 22, 2020
1
0
What I don't get here, is that it was a written exam... That was meant to be uploaded online... And they were apparently doing it in handwriting? . Full sympathy with the students, it's something their school should've taken care of - but why on Earth are exams that are in the end digital anyway being conducted this way, rather than just having them write it on their computer in the first place?
For a lot of tests, such as Calc AB or BC, showing work is necessary. It's pretty hard to type out proofs and calculus symbols on a computer so it's much easier to handwrite. I assume the same thing applies for some other non-math tests
 
Comment

bice

macrumors member
Aug 22, 2015
85
172
Not only related to this incident. But people today should put a little more interest in the technology they use, instead of just mindless tapping and watching tiktok, without any interest in how things work. Data responsibility is none existing after the cloud came to reality. Young people don’t care about where data lies, what format, and how it’s kept. This is a big worry, now and for future generations.
While this is very true, technology providers like Apple are not making it easy. The whole set up is made to shelter the user from everything. Pay the monthly fee and we'll make all decisions for you.
The most compatible/most efficient switch is just an example. You are not supposed to know, understand and be able to handle the consequences of that decision. Leave everything to Apple is the overall mantra.
When things go pear-shaped you are on your own and you have no idea what even happened and how/if it can be rectified.
 
Comment

bobob

macrumors 68040
Jan 11, 2008
3,074
1,942
Can’t stand Live Photo’s. Worthless feature.
It's not right that everyone is forced to use it! Apple should add a setting to allow users to choose to turn it off! This is outrageous! If I don't find a feature worthwhile, no one should! Insert next diatribe here!
 
Comment

farewelwilliams

macrumors 68030
Jun 18, 2014
2,663
11,002
Again, you're totally wrong.

Read Apple's EULA. Use of their consumer-licensed AVC codec to say, record a business video is unlicensed activity. Now MPEG LA may not enforce this, but one can legitimately bring a lawsuit against such a user.
I did read. "commercial use of H.264/AVC requires additional licensing".
Assuming there's a direct connection between AVC and HEVC in terms of licensing, is the student selling a picture of his/her AP exam? No. Again, I'm not a lawyer, but it sure doesn't sound like a student is commercializing his/her pictures by sending it to College Board, a non-profit organization. If you have any links to suggest otherwise, I'm all ears, but this seems obvious to me that this is not considered commercial activity.

Again, you don't know what Velos Media's arrangement is. You're making guesses.

The truth has been held confidential. Velos isn't even disclosing what patents they control. And again, you don't know what arrangements people are making with Cisco, technicolor, Blackberry, etc.

All we know is that with HEVC, you have to pay a large number of companies, or else you're open to lawsuits. Is that stupid? It sure is, and that's why AV1 is gaining popularity.
There's no need to. There's a difference between implementing a codec and using a codec. College Board is simply using a codec made by a third party. So it's not their responsibility to grab a license (assuming one is needed by a non-profit organization), it's the third party's job. If the third party didn't get a license, then it's them that are in violation, not College Board.

We've already seen this when Xvid tried to use MPEG-LA's patents to create an open source codec (before they loosened the restrictions). Those that compiled Xvid's source code and distributed the binaries got in trouble with MPEG-LA. Users that downloaded Xvid and used it were not.

Your argument here just doesn't make sense here. College Board primary concern here isn't an incoming lawsuit.
 
Comment

Abazigal

macrumors G5
Jul 18, 2011
12,626
10,570
Singapore
I feel making this a standards issue is missing the point.

At the end of the day, the teacher (and by extension, the school) needs to put the student first. By not allowing the students to submit their work even though it had already been done, and submitting them to the stress of having to take the same paper again many months down the road), is doing them a major disservice.

Trying to blame Apple for not not using a more common standard is simply trying to shirk responsibility. Apple is not the one administering the exam. The school is. As such, the onus is on them to ensure that their students are familiar with the submission procedure, which amongst other things, entails preempting any possible problem.

The school appears to have seriously screwed up by not allowing the students to have a trial run first and allow all the kinks and confusion to be ironed out.

They have failed their students.
 
Comment

NightFox

macrumors 68020
May 10, 2005
2,209
1,480
Shropshire, UK
What I don't get here, is that it was a written exam... That was meant to be uploaded online... And they were apparently doing it in handwriting? . Full sympathy with the students, it's something their school should've taken care of - but why on Earth are exams that are in the end digital anyway being conducted this way, rather than just having them write it on their computer in the first place?
I'd guess that the exam submissions may have included content that was easier to handwrite or draw, such as diagrams in a science exam or workings in maths (mathematical typesetting using something like Word or LaTeX is a skill in itself)
 
Comment

[AUT] Thomas

macrumors 6502
Mar 13, 2016
485
478
Graz [Austria]
i cannot understand how this problem was not identified earlier before the software went live.
Any software devs here that could explain?

It seems like an obvious thing...get an iphone, what lots of people in the US use, and try it before it goes live.
There are only two platforms after all...
If only a single test would have been conducted in advance that would have been flagged. As such:

Article said:
Incompetent College Board causing Some Students to Fail AP Exams
There I fixed it!
 
Comment

casperes1996

macrumors 601
Jan 26, 2014
4,613
2,416
Horsens, Denmark
But that's again a whole range of programs you have to learn how to use, not just somewhat, but actually fast enough to reliably use during an exam. Suddenly the exam isn't about your understanding of the substance, but about all those auxiliary tools and skills that (a) don't translate into anything useful and (b) aren't exactly what people really expect you to master in your degree. Mind, all these things can also fail. Maybe that one tool you are using starts downloading an update during your exam. You usually don't have that time. Maybe it just crashes for whatever reason. Maybe your computer is really slow for whatever reason. Using pen and paper greatly reduces the number of potential breaking points that can cost you time that have nothing to do with the attributes that are supposed to be tested in your exam.

There's a more elaborate point to be made about what I think about using CAS tools, which is that I don't believe you should use these things when learning about the very concepts that they solve. I think it's didactic malpractice and I know first hand that it messes with people's chances at university when all they ever did was use these tools instead of actually thinking about the operations. I know a number of people that used CAS calculators in their calculus courses and ended up having to re-learn everything once again, because it turns out building on the skill to type in a symbolic expression and hitting "Integrate" isn't exactly possible.
I think you’re making it more trouble than it is. I went to high school with some people who knew so little about computers that not having wi-fi might as well mean the computer was broken for them, and they managed just fine with Maple, ChemSketch and all the various tools we used.

But let’s put that aside, again, I advocate using a pen when you consider it the best tool for the job; But just have an existing infrastructure and common practice for PDF hand ins - Make it regular practice to gather up your hand written documents into a single PDF document as a common format for hand ins. Regardless of how it’s made.

And I’d frankly say that knowing your way around CAS and other tools like them help more at uni than it acts as a bottleneck, but that May vers well just be me. I’ve never understood what going through the trivial process of calculating things by hand contributes to understanding the fundamentals of the underlying maths. But then again, I’m a computer science student. My whole area is dedicated to making other devices do the math for us after we define the problem to it.
- - Post merged: - -

For a lot of tests, such as Calc AB or BC, showing work is necessary. It's pretty hard to type out proofs and calculus symbols on a computer so it's much easier to handwrite. I assume the same thing applies for some other non-math tests
My experience doing exactly that contradicts this. Between CAS tools you can essentially use as a form of almost wysiwyg typesetters for math if you ignore the calculating aspect and just use them to write with, TeX, and various other methods of input, there’s no lack of easy methods to typeset math on a computer. - Frankly I can type out math about 20x faster on a Mac than by hand
 
Last edited:
Comment

bice

macrumors member
Aug 22, 2015
85
172
I feel making this a standards issue is missing the point.

At the end of the day, the teacher (and by extension, the school) needs to put the student first. By not allowing the students to submit their work even though it had already been done, and submitting them to the stress of having to take the same paper again many months down the road), is doing them a major disservice.

Trying to blame Apple for not not using a more common standard is simply trying to shirk responsibility. Apple is not the one administering the exam. The school is. As such, the onus is on them to ensure that their students are familiar with the submission procedure, which amongst other things, entails preempting any possible problem.

The school appears to have seriously screwed up by not allowing the students to have a trial run first and allow all the kinks and confusion to be ironed out.

They have failed their students.
So unless the world adapts to Apple, the word have failed?

I don't think people "are blaming Apple" but it is just a fact of life that using products from Apple means using technology that isn't always widely accepted. Ultimately, when we use Apple we make that decision, consciously or not. Saying that others have failed us for not adapting is not a fair take IMHO.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.