If you haven’t heard WebP is a new image file format designed for the web and developed by Google. It is also an open-source royalty-free compression technology that derivates from the video format VP8 that will help to make the web better and faster in desktop computers, but mobile devices are the ones that will get the most benefits.
When comparing JPEG vs. WebP, image quality are the same, but WebP can be over 30% smaller in size. This means that moving forward, websites can continue to have rich quality images, while saving on bandwidth and power, specially in mobile devices. Popular websites like Facebook and Google+ are already using this image compression technology to deliver faster web browsing in small devices.
Google WebP supports lossless and lossy file compression, and transparency in the same way you’ll find in PNG images. It also support profile, metadata, and GIF animated images. So technically with this new image file format you can replace JPEGs, PNGs, and animated GIFs.
Dealing with WebP in Windows
It all looks good, but there is one problem, if you come across with one of the new images at this point on time and you download it to your desktop, you won’t be able to view the WebP file. This is because we still in the early stages and until they are everywhere you’ll need to manually tell Windows, or to whatever operating system you are using, how to view a WebP image file. Luckily Google has already released a WebP codec for Windows.
This codec has all that is necessary to open WebP files in Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista and even XP, using the Windows Photo Viewer or Picasa, plus you also will be able to see thumbnails previews in File Explorer.
The installation is pretty simple, head over to the Google Developer page, download the WebPCodeSetup.exe. Double-click it to start the installation wizard and follow the simple instructions.
WebP for Internet Explorer
Google also made available a plugin that makes possible to add WebP support in Internet Explorer, Opera, and in Android OS. Of course that if you’re a Chrome users you’re already covered, because the web browser already integrates native support for the compression technology. Firefox on the other hand has yet to implement this new compression technology in its browser, but it shouldn’t be long until that happens.