The developers of RapidWeaver, Realmac, have just launched Squash 2 for Mac! As they put it, it is "The Easiest Way to Compress and Optimise Images for the Web.", I completely agree with that statement.
It has a really simplistic and clean UI, which I'm a big fan of. And also it has a few very smart features.
How To Use Squash
You can either drag and drop images (or even whole folders), onto the application window or icon to compress the files. Or you can of course navigate to File, Open.
Then you get to see the animation, which has a nice sound effect to it, while it's compressing the images. And after that it tells you how much space it saved, and then completes the specific output option you have set in your preferences. It's as simple as that.
What Can It Do?
Squash can compress JPG, PNG, and GIF images without losing any image quality. So there's really no drawbacks!
It can also convert PSD, RAW, and TIFF files into compressed JPG files as well. Which can be a huge lifesaver if you don't fancy opening up Photoshop or Lightroom for example to simply export an image.
Then with the output of images, you can choose to either have it replace the original images with the compressed versions, or you can save separate copies. This is managed in the Preferences window, and it also let's you choose a specific folder to save them into.
Another little extra is the ability to add a custom suffix to the image name, so for example you could be compressing a bunch of images, and you want to clearly know which ones have compressed versions. Just add something like "-compressed", and then "Photo_0123.png" would get compressed, and saved as "Photo_0123-compressed.png".
If you want to refine the compression even more, you can select the JPEG quality you want to compress to. And there is also an option to have a slightly more compressed PNG format, but this will take a longer time to complete.
Why Should I Compress?
There are a bunch of reasons why you should compress your images, but here are a few:
- It saves space on your drive, or even cloud storage where space may not be hugely available.
- You can upload your files to places like Facebook and Twitter much faster.
- If your app uses a lot of images, then having all of these compressed, it will be faster to download, which means less bandwidth is being used.
- Your email attachments will be smaller, so they will load and send faster, and who wants huge emails anyway?
- Websites will load much faster with smaller images!
I had to do a few benchmarks on some images, to see what sort of compression I could get. So here is what I got:
- Andromeda Galaxy 5.3MB JPEG -> 2.2MB
- Qwiki Icon 857KB PNG -> 375KB / 327KB (Slower PNG Compression)
- Black Wallpaper 2.2MB JPEG -> 537Kb
- Outside Landscape 1.8MB JPEG -> 1.7MB
- Screenshot of Squash (Above) 105KB JPEG -> 57KB
And if you get there before the 28th November, you'll benefit from their whopping 60% Off Launch deal.