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Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge get support for Google’s WebP image format. This makes Apples Safari the only remaining browser that does not support it. The support has already been added to Edge, and Firefox will follow later this year.

WebP was conceived and developed by Google eight years ago. It is a format marketed as an alternative and replacement for PNG, JPEG and GIF. WebP therefore offered good compression, transparency and animations – all important features. Early benchmarks also showed that WebP could reduce the size of a PNG image by 45 percent and that of a GIF by up to 65 percent.

Long way

At first Google Chrome was the only browser that supported WebP, but it wasn’t long before Opera and the Pale Moon browser also worked with it. Large Google sites such as Gmail, Google Search, Google Play, Picasa and others have also switched to WebP. At the same time, they do support the other file formats if the user’s browser does not yet have them.

Despite the success, the road for WebP was not easy. In 2016, Apple and Mozilla both expressed an interest in WebP, but at the same time they quickly dropped support for it. Mozilla made this choice because certain benchmarks showed no advantages over JPEG. Apple also supported it in iOS 10 and MacOS Sierra, but later replaced it with HEIF, a different file format.

Where many people thought that this would be the last nails in the coffin of WebP, it turns out that this is not the case. The file format is now alive again, because Edge suddenly has support and Mozilla has also chosen to build WebP into Firefox. Firefox is expected to support WebP next year.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.