Google renews web apps push with ‘Squoosh’ and Writable Files API

Google renews its web apps push with a tool for reducing image sizes alongside a new API increasing native apps interoperability.

Starting with Google’s image-shrinking tool, ‘Squoosh’ is meant to “launch almost instantly, and then [perform] a smooth UI even when it’s doing heavy work, including using Web Assembly to do more with codecs the browser doesn’t have baked in.”

The open source tool supports a variety of web formats like MozJPEG and WebP, and traditional ones like PNG. It enables a 1:1 visual comparison of the original image and its compressed version to make images web-ready.

After running the app for the first time, Squoosh can even run offline.

Squoosh is available now on all major browsers although, of course, it’s optimised for Chrome where the team is especially proud of the app’s ability to offer a consistently smooth UI even when the app is undertaking a heavy load of work.

The source code is available on GitHub if you’re interested to see how it was built.

Google’s new Writable Files API, meanwhile, aims to make life easier for developers wanting to improve the interoperability of their web applications with native applications. It’s part of the capabilities project which aims to make local capabilities readily available to web apps.

Using the API, developers have access to a single file editor that allows a user to open, edit a file, and then save it directly back to the same file. It’s far more efficient than the current process which requires downloading and re-uploading a file.

Google is still assessing the security of the API as blanket access to user data is ripe for abuse. Currently, users will have to pick the file to be accessed to ensure control. The company has published a security model and is asking for feedback on it.

Sample code is available to see how the Writable Files API could be implemented.

Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo, and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London, and Amsterdam.

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