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Friday, October 1, 2010

Google introduces WebP...

 Well, Google announced recently that they just released a new graphic format, perfect for images.  The new format is WebP.

 A WebP is similar to a .jpg in its colour range (millions of colours), and it's also lossy like .jpgs are.  But a WebP of similar resolution and quality has 39% less data.

 According to Google, graphics (.jpgs, .gifs, .pngs, etc.) make up about 65% of web page data transmission.

 So, Google is obviously on a mission to make WWW transmission more economic without quality loss noticeable to the human eye.

 That's all well and good, but for web designers, there are two factors to consider:

  1. Google Chrome will obviously support the format ASAP.  And if you have a smartphone running Android, you'll be ready to view WebP images on web pages as soon as Google patches you, I assume.  Now, will competing browsers follow Google's lead?  Even if Microsoft, Adobe, and BlackBerry decide to work with format, you can bet that Steve Jobs will dig his heels with Apple.  iPhones and iPads deliberately omit Flash, for crissakes!
  2. If Adobe gives in to WebP, Photoshop developers may jump right in.  But I use Paint.Net and Gimp, will I be left behind? Yeah, Google has released a program to convert .png files to WebP.  But we won't bother to use it unless it becomes the new standard.

 A .jpg and WebP comparison:

  The graphic above is courtesy of Michael Calore on Wired Epicenter.

  So, in Google's quest for world domination, will they win the graphic format war (for now)?  Of course, Steve Jobs will be his arrogant and stubborn self.  But, will Google's other competitors take their lead?

  Technology wars haven't been this exciting since the new DVD format war was between HDDVD and BluRay...

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