Google’s New Algorithm Can Compress JPEG Images by 35 Percent


Tasneem Akolawala, 17 March 2017 Google's Guetzli JPEG Encoder Compresses Images by 35 Percent; Chrome 57 for Android Out Now

Highlights

  • The new jpeg encoder is called Guetzli
  • It compresses jpeg images by 35 percent
  • Chrome 57 for Android is also rolling out to all users

Google has announced a new open source JPEG encoder called Guetzli that creates images with file sizes 35 percent smaller than currently available methods. This is to advance its efforts in getting webpages to load faster while using less data. Google tried the same tactic in 2014 with the WebP format that shrunk images by 10 percent.

Furthermore, Google claims that Guetzli does this compression without compromising on image quality. "The visual quality of JPEG images is directly correlated to its multi-stage compression process: colour space transform, discrete cosine transform, and quantization. Guetzli specifically targets the quantisation stage in which the more visual quality loss is introduced, the smaller the resulting file. Guetzli strikes a balance between minimal loss and file size by employing a search algorithm that tries to overcome the difference between the psychovisual modelling of JPEG's format, and Guetzli's psychovisual model, which approximates colour perception and visual masking in a more thorough and detailed way than what is achievable by simpler colour transforms and the discrete cosine transform. However, while Guetzli creates smaller image file sizes, the tradeoff is that these search algorithms take significantly longer to create compressed images than currently available methods," the company notes in a blog.

Google also notes that Guetzli is very similar to the Zopfli algorithm, which produces smaller PNG and GZIP files without needing to introduce a new format. While this is a significant step forward, the real change will be seen when web folks and graphic designers employ it in their photographic content online. The tech giant also hopes that this new algorithm will inspire further image and video compression research for even faster load times on the Internet in the future.

Separately, just after the rollout of Chrome 57 for iOS and Windows, Linux, and Mac users; Chrome 57 for Android is rolling out to users globally. The update brings more features to Chrome Custom Tabs like webpage controls, notifications, and other system functions. It brings a new Media Session API that gives more controls on media notifications, that essentially allows sites to provide more metadata to the browser. This includes featuring of background lock screen artwork and showing other info like album name, artist etc. It also brings the ability to add Progressive Web Apps to the home screen, appear in app drawers as well as system settings. Other features that come with this update include more frequently updated article suggestions on the New Tab page, using recently visited search engines as your default search engine; and seeing physical Web suggestions based on your surroundings in the address bar. You can download the latest version here.

Tasneem Akolawala Email Tasneem

When not expelling tech wisdom, Tasneem feeds on good stories that strike on all those emotional chords. She loves road trips, a good laugh, and interesting people. … More

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