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Google WebP is a new way of showing pictures online and on your mobile

No-one wants to wait for pictures to appear, so Google has come up with a new way of showing images online and on your mobile phone.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm

Google has come up with a new way of showing pictures online and on your mobile phone. The WebP image format compresses pictures to make file sizes smaller without losing quality, which is handy as accessing the Web on your mobile becomes the norm.

Online images need to be compressed in order to load faster, but this can involve losing picture data. Google reckons the lossy JPEG format is ten years out of date, so WebP is a lossy format taking advantage of modern know-how.

Specifically, Google's open-source VP8 codec. Technology from VP8 video infra frame coding is wrapped in a lightweight RIFF container to create image files roughly 40 per cent smaller than JPEGs, PNGs and GIFs.

Google is offering WebP for developers to play with. In the meantime, the big G should think about a snappier name.