WebP Will Soon Be An Efficient Replacement Of PNG
Google, as a leaders of the Internet era took it to themselves to enhance the user experience. Google acquired On2 Technologies and then released their technologies under an free software licence BSD. WebP is one such technology. It is an image format which employes both lossy and lossless compression. WebP aims to replace JPEG as the preferred image format as it saves bandwith and offers better quality at reduced file size.
Why it matters? It matters because we are moving into the mobile space with our powerful tablets and smartphones. We consume a lot of content when we are on the move. And when you are on the move every byte counts.
Jyrki Alakuijala - Software Engineer at Google explains, "At Google, we are constantly looking at ways to make web pages load faster. One way to do this is by making web images smaller. This is especially important for mobile devices where smaller images save both bandwidth and battery life."
Google recently released a new version of the WebP library that adds support for lossless and transparency modes to compress images. This version provides CPU and memory performance comparable to or better than PNG, yet results in 26% smaller files claims Alakuijala.
However Alakuijala believes that, " We think that we've only scratched the surface in improving compression. Our newly added support for alpha transparency with lossy images promises additional gains in this space, helping make WebP an efficient replacement for PNG."
If you want to take advantage of the new version, switch to Beta channel of Chrome. Since it's an open source project you can contribute to make it better. Try out these new compression methods on your favorite set of images, check out the code, and continue to provide teh team with feedback.