Google’s Been Busy With Guetzli and Chrome

Google’s Been Busy With Guetzli and Chrome

Guetzli “Cookie” breaks JPEGs down even further

Google has been driving the movement towards a mobile first internet. Amongst their repertoire of methods, markups, and tools are AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), Brotli (better compression rate than GZip) and separate SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) for desktop and mobile browsers. Their latest development, Guetzli, is a JPEG compression tool that boasts a 35% reduction in file size with minimal sacrifice in quality. When put head to head with libjpeg, the Guetzli algorithm typically produces files 20% to 30% smaller in size.

The psychovisual methodology employed by this tool is noticeably slower process than that of its competitors, as it “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”.

Guetzli 2

Obviously, this is an extreme zoomed in example, but the above demonstrates an uncompressed image on the left, libjpeg in the centre and Guetzli on the right.

The image isn’t perfect but is significantly less grainy than the centre image and the file is a lot smaller. All in all, not bad for a program which name essentially translates to cookie.

Guetzli 3

New version of chrome is much easier on your laptop

In other Google news, the latest version of Chrome has been released and much like the above topic, it comes with some shiny credentials. The latest version, 57, comes with improved tabular management, meaning that the background tabs are 25% less busy, so it burns less CPU and battery.

But this is just a stop gap. Google’s the long-term vision is that background tabs will be fully suspended in the future. New API’s, which aren’t quite ready yet, will do all of the heavy lifting. Whilst not the end goal, this battery saving temporary solution is certainly enough to placate me in the mean time.

Stephen Collins