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Chrome Web Store Now Using WebP for Faster Image Loading

Chrome manifest V2 to Apps and Extension developers, which brings a variety of security and API improvements such as a default Content Security Policy would now deprecated on Monday, March 4, 2013.

After that date, “the Chrome Web Store will block all updates to products based on manifest V1 unless the update includes switching it to manifest V2,” Google wrote.

As of Chrome 18, manifest V1 was officially deprecated.

In other releated news, Chrome Web Store, which uses many large promotional images and tiles on its home page, making it a very heavyweight page, in an effort to improved the speed without sacrificing the user experience or giving up image quality, Google is now using WebP.

“WebP offers significantly better compression than legacy formats (around 35% better in most cases), and when you consider that over 60% of typical page sizes are images, the benefits can be substantial. WebP translates directly into less bandwidth consumption, decreased latency, faster page loads, better battery consumption on mobile, and overall happier users.”

“By converting PNGs and JPEGs to WebP, the Chrome Web Store was able to reduce image sizes by about 30% on average (here’s one sample image in WebP at 8.3kB and JPEG at 32kB),” Google wrote. Given the number of requests Chrome Web Store serves, “this adds up to several terabytes of savings every day.”

Webmaster interested in making their site faster, may refer to Make the Web Faster site and dive into WebP.

Update: If you are using Google image hosting services such Picasa or Google+, you can easily switch to WebP on-the-fly. Note, Images hosted by Google are already coverted to WebP fromat for its services like Picasa Web, Blogger and Google+.

Here’s example of how a photo(s) hosted by Google+ can be easily switched to WebP:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-b1qAbtG7VuI/TqON2f_eReI/AAAAAAAA4P4/r_5AKUt42rg/s633/DSC03146.JPG [57 KB]

To convert the photo to WebP, just replace “/s633/” with “/s633-rw/” (“/sNUMBER/” with “/sNUMBER-rw/”) :

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-b1qAbtG7VuI/TqON2f_eReI/AAAAAAAA4P4/r_5AKUt42rg/s633-rw/DSC03146.JPG [33 KB]

Google also announced the first annual Chrome Academy! offering thirty rising sophomores and juniors at universities in the U.S. or Canada the chance to participate in a week-long educational summer program at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.

“Chrome Academy will run from June 16 to June 22, 2013 and will include an interactive and collaborative curriculum focused on providing a practical introduction to developing cutting-edge web applications and Chrome Packaged Applications,” google wrote.

In addition, “students will explore time-saving frameworks and the tools required for developing, testing, and deploying web applications. Students will also get the opportunity to enjoy technical talks by Googlers, network with other talented students and attend social activities around Silicon Valley,” Google added.

Applications for Chrome Academy are open now and the deadline to apply is March 17th.

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