Google launches advanced online image converter Squoosh
Google's Chrome Developer Conference is in full swing and one of the things that came out of it yesterday was the official unveiling of Squoosh, an online service designed to showcase new browser capabilities.
Squoosh is an online image converter at its core that converts images that you load into different image formats. While that niche is very crowded already on the Internet, Squoosh has not been designed as a competitor but as a showcase for new web technologies.
The service works in several modern web browsers and not just in Chrome; I had the impression that it runs faster in Firefox than it does in Chrome when I ran side-by-side tests.
Squoosh takes a source image and converts it into one of the supported formats. The process is automatic and it happens locally after the initial download of the application in the browser.
The app supports the formats OptiPNG, MozJPG, WebP, and Browser PNG, JPG, and WebP. A slider separates the image into the original version and the converted version on the page. You may move the slider and use zoom in and out operations to compare the quality of the input and output.
It is easy to switch to a different format and make changes to the parameters of it. Just click on the format selector and pick a new format: the app converts the image to the selected format and display it immediately in the preview area.
Options to resize the image or reduce its palette are provided independently of the selected format. Some formats support custom parameters that you may adjust. If you select WebP for example, you may check the lossless box, modify effort and slight loss parameters, and check the preserve transparent data and discrete tone image boxes.
Other formats, e.g. MozJPG, offer even more options to customize the ouput. Squoosh highlights the savings (or not) whenever you make changes to the configuration.
A click on the download button saves the converted image to the local system.
Squoosh is an open source tool by Chrome Labs. The app works in desktop and mobile browsers, and collects some data using Google Analytics. The GitHub project page states that it collects the original and processed image size rounded up to the nearest Kilobyte and "basic visit data".
Squoosh is a powerful image converter that showcases the use of new technologies such as WebAssembly. Its practical use is fairly limited at this point in time; while it is a good option to convert a single image to another format, it is not suited for bulk conversions.
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