What Factors to Consider When Choosing a Mobile-Friendly Video Format

As the popularity of mobile devices continues to grow, more and more videos are being watched on mobile devices. However unlike desktop computers, mobile devices can be more limited in certain ways – making it important that you choose a mobile-friendly format if you want your video to be watched on mobile devices without any issues.

In order to choose a mobile-friendly video format, there are a few factors that you need to consider:

Hardware and software support

For a video to be viewed on a mobile device, its format needs to have at least software support. That being said hardware support is preferred as well, otherwise it will consume lots of processing power and battery life.

Typically MP4 with H.264 is a good option in that regard as it enjoys widespread hardware and software support across the majority of mobile devices. Newer versions of iOS include software support for H.265 as well, and newer Apple iPhones and iPads have hardware support for it too.

For Android devices the support for H.265 varies, though some devices do have both hardware and software support.

File size

Considering mobile devices have limited storage space, the file size of videos is often an important factor. Despite the fact that it is possible to store videos on the cloud rather than the device, that would mean that you’d use up data every time you view it.

As a rule it is best to choose the format with the best compression – among the supported video formats. In other words if H.265 is supported it would be best, as it could reduce the file size of H.264 videos by about half.

However if it is not you should at least use H.264, as using formats older than that could result in much larger file sizes.

Other features

The other factor that you may need to consider is the presence of other features in your video – such as chapters, captions, menus, metadata and so on. It will influence the container that you choose for your format, but in most cases doesn’t affect the choice that much.

Simply put the most popular container for mobile devices nowadays is MP4, having replaced FLV. It supports most features in some way or other, and more importantly is widely-compatible.

As you can see on the whole MP4 with H.264 is currently the most mobile-friendly format. Because of that it makes sense to use it, especially if you want to cater to all mobile devices instead of just a select few. It should be noted that there are lots of easy ways to convert videos to MP4, and for example you could use Online Video Converter (

That being said if you know the specific mobile device that the video will be viewed on, you can be more discerning. More specifically for newer Apple mobile devices and certain Android devices you can take advantage of the H.265 support to reduce the video file size further and conserve more storage space.

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