Google Chrome Labs: Use our open-source Squoosh image tool for faster page loads

Squoosh helps websites cut image file sizes and helps Google promote its WebP image-compression format.

Google Chrome Labs has released Squoosh, a web app that can compress and reformat images to make lighter web pages.

The tool is aimed at helping web developers quickly compress images and reduce image quality to an acceptable level, with the aim of making web apps that are light and fast.

However, it will also help Google promote its WebP image lossy and lossless image-compression format, which until recently was only supported by Chrome.

WebP aside, Squoosh is a progressive web app (PWA) that works with any browser on desktop and mobile, and offers several "best-in-class codecs" to compress and compare images within the browser.

Since it is a PWA, ChromeOS users and Windows 10 users with the latest version of Chrome will be able to use Squoosh like a native app. And with Windows 10 1809 now rolling out again, Edge users should be able experience it as a native app too.

Users can drag and drop an image onto the interface or select a file and then pick the optimal image format, resize the image, set a certain browser quality, and reduce the palette.

The idea is to help developers pick an optimal image format and make edits to minimize the size of the image file used for the web without sacrificing image quality too much.

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Image formats that can be selected and compared include Google's Webp, Mozilla's mozjpeg, BMP, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, JPEG 2000, and PDF.

The presenters who took the wraps off Squoosh at the Chrome Dev Summit this week highlighted several examples where WebP reduced the image file size more than other formats.

The timing of the new app likely isn't an accident. Until recently only Chrome supported Webp, but the format has been given a major boost this month via Edge support in the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. Firefox 65, due out early next year, will add WebP support too.

Each time an adjustment to the image is made, the app displays how much smaller or larger the file is as a result of the change.

Users can also compare the difference each change makes to the image quality using a slider that shows the edited and original image. Once the optimal image has been determined it can be downloaded in the chosen format.

Assuming WebP does a good job on this front, it could mean more images in Google's format will start appearing on the web.

googlechromesquoosh.jpg

Users can drag and drop an image onto the interface or select a file, and then pick the optimal image format, resize, set browser quality, and reduce the palette.

Image: Google

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