iPhone supported formats

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  • Updated 3 years ago
I'm developing a series of videos for iPhone and iPad users. I've been informed that the iOS 10 does not support the mp4 video format, and am wondering what is the best way to publish for those devices. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Photo of BillSeattle


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Posted 3 years ago

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Photo of Rick Stone

Rick Stone

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Video formats are a conundrum. You can't just see something like "MP4" and know anything other than that is the file extension being used. What matters is how the content inside the MP4 container has been encoded. At least, that's my own understanding of it.

Having said that, it seems that the MP4 videos are generally encoded in a way that most things are capable of understanding. So it would seem odd that iOS devices would change that playing field. Unless, of course, Apple wants to goad their customers into paying even more than they do for special things that allow them to consume generic type data on their devices.

Cheers... Rick :)
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Joe Morgan

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It really depends on what formats you can use.

Ideally, you want the chosen format to create high quality videos with small file sizes.
There is a trade off between file size and quality.
Some formats create higher quality videos and support smaller file sizes by comparison.

Photo of ExpertNovice


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I am not an iPhone user.  Left Apple after the Apple ][+ because of the new "closed architecture" ideology (i.e. we will dictate what you can do on our computers.).  However, a quick search

The following suggests MP4 is supported in most iPhones.


You have to read the next article.  It starts of stating only MKV AVI FLV are played natively but later states the iPhone 7 Plus can play some MP4 videos if they are H.264 or MPEG-4.  Apple will allow you to use all approved formats.


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Bob Lewis

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I copy MP4 videos to my iPhone 4s and iPad Mini regularly and have no problems playing them.

( Yes, my iPhone 4s still works and I see no need to upgrade until it quits.  Battery still lasts all day  with my normal use, in case you were wondering. )