Google is not giving up on their WebP image format which is yet to be supported by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser.
The company has rolled out version 0.2 of the WebP library. This comes with support for lossless and transparency modes.
Google said that these improvements make WebP a better alternative to PNG images.
WebP’s improved compression comes from advanced techniques such as dedicated entropy codes for different color channels, exploiting 2D locality of backward reference distances and a color cache of recently used colors. This complements basic techniques such as dictionary coding, Huffman coding and color indexing transform. We think that we’ve only scratched the surface in improving compression. Our newly added support for alpha transparency with lossy images promises additional gains in this space, helping make WebP an efficient replacement for PNG.
Google is already supporting these improvements in the latest Chrome Beta. Mozilla Firefox and Opera Browser should incorporate them in the near future.