Google’s Squoosh proves web apps are the way of the future

Chris Burns - Nov 13, 2018, 10:14 am CDT
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Google’s Squoosh proves web apps are the way of the future

There’s a new web app for Chrome called Squoosh this week, made by Google to prove the next generation of web apps are viable. That might seem pretty boring to everyone that’s already got their traditional apps already downloaded – but the future is coming. With this app, Developer Advocate Jake Archibald and Drawsplainer Mariko Kosaka show how Javascript in a web browser can make the impossible task of up-scaling a photo quite possible indeed.

The end result of the work these developers did is almost more incredible than its original intent. The original intent was to prove one way in which an app could decode images and parse JavaScript separately. With this app, these developers made some long running JavaScript work without blocking up any bit of their UI.

The smoothness is what they’re trying to make happen, here. If you use this app – in a Chrome web browser – you should find that it works without a hitch – and that it works without any stuttering or, as they call it, “jank”.

This web app 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.” You can access this app over at Squoosh dot app. It’ll work in a Chrome web browser on a desktop machine, mobile Chrome app, or in Chrome OS. And it’s basically magical.

These creators have a session set up for the Chrome Dev Summit this week. Their talk will be today at 15:00 – that’s Monday, November 12th, 2018, at 3PM Pacific Time. Their talk is called “Complex JS-heavy Web Apps, Avoiding the Slow.” As they describe it, “If you can do it without JavaScript, that’s usually the fastest path. But what about when JavaScript is the only way? In this session we take a JavaScript-heavy PWA and make it load in less than 5 seconds on 2G, using Web Assembly, workers, and web components.”


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