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Apple is testing support for Google's WebP image format in new beta versions of Safari

O Safari be able to get faster in the near future. Apple is including in the latest betas of its browser for iOS 10 and macOS Sierra support for WebP, an image format created by Google in order to speed up the loading of content on the web.

Safari Technology Preview

WebP, a format that has been around for some time, was launched by Google in 2010, but it has only recently seen greater adoption. It is capable of producing files in quality similar to the ubiquitous JPEG, occupying significantly less space; moreover, it is able to combine advantages of other formats such as PNG (support for transparencies) and GIF (animations).

If format support actually moves to the final versions of the browser, Safari may see some reasonable performance improvements. To give you an idea, Facebook adopted WebP after realizing that the images took up 25% to 35% less space after converting to the format; Google, which includes technology support in Chrome since 2012, says YouTube loads 10% faster on browsers capable of reading WebP.

Despite this, it cannot yet be said with certainty that the next public versions of Safari will include support for the format. The simplest reason for this is that such an inclusion represents a series of precautions to be taken by developers: support for new formats opens doors that can expose browsers to potential security problems, in addition to the usual compatibility issues. Microsoft, for example, says it has no plans to include WebP support in its Edge browser.

Anyway, the simple recognition by a company the size of Apple technology already represents a huge step for it, and now it is much more likely that we will see widespread support for WebP in the near future.

(via Patently Apple)