Nicely displaying high-quality images without sacrificing load time can be a constant dilemma. Now, an experimental web app from Google called “Squoosh” offers a quick and easy way to get the best of both worlds, via 9to5Google.
It’s a pretty simple app to use: you can drag and drop an image of your choosing into the tool, at which point, you can pick from compression standards including MozJPEG, OptiPNG, and Google’s own WebP. A small slider lets you quickly adjust the level of compression, and you’ll also see a running total of how large the resulting file is expected to be. A second slider can be pulled across the image to let you easily see the effects of the compression. There are more advanced options available, but we were able to find a pretty decent balance between image size and quality without them.
Interestingly, the Chromium blog announcing the tool notes that its original intention was to show how quickly web apps can be made to load in Chrome, even when they have to do heavy work like drawing upon Web Assembly to make use of codecs outside of the browser. So yes, it might make your webpages load faster, but Google’s real aim here is to show you how quickly its tool launches in the first place.