Google Chrome will support animated PNGs without extensions

By: Costea Lestoc
2 minute read
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Last week Google has launched Chrome 58 which is the latest stable version of the popular web browser. Version 59 is currently in the Dev Channel and it seems that Google has finally confirmed that it’s going to include fully native support for animated PNG files.

PNG files

PNG files are similar to GIFs regarding the support for transparency, but there’s a difference between the two – the fact that while animated GIFs are ubiquitous, animated PNGs aka APNGs are still not that common as the animated PNG is a relatively new file format. Unlike GIFs, however, APNG files support both 8-bit transparency and 24-bit images.

Upcoming Google Chrome version brings support for APNGs

The upcoming release of Google Chrome is going to fully support animated PNGs, according to a Googler who confirmed this in the comment regarding a bug report ticket on the Chromium web site.

According 9to5Google, on Google’s Chromium bug reporting site, there was an enquiry that was met with a response from a Google employee confirming the fact that support for APNG is on its way in the upcoming version of the browser. A user posed the following question:” Does this mean that Chrome will now have full APNG support without extensions?” and the response that came along sounded like this “Yes, Chrome 59 animates animated PNGs without requiring any sort of browser extensions.”

Extensions available via the Chrome Web Store have long added support for animated PNG files, but as you can see, this Googler said that Chrome 59 won’t require any extensions.

References to “Add support for animated PNGs” have first appeared in the Chromium open source Google Git in March, but this is the very first confirmation that the feature is going to publicly be released along with Chrome 59. The requests for adding the feature to Chrome go back to 2008.

There are some browsers such as Firefox that have long supported the format but APNG has been constantly gaining popularity, especially since Apple has made the decision of adopting the APNG file format for the iOS 10 iMessage apps.

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