What’s Happening:

The new open source image processing library, Spectrum, was officially launched by Facebook yesterday, after being in beta since November 2018. The company says that Spectrum will help improve the quality and reliability of images uploaded through the platform’s suite of apps — something that Facebook is committed to as it makes technology such as this available open-source to the developer community.


Why it Matters:

Smartphones are increasingly becoming the primary camera for people worldwide, and one of the most important focal points with new phone launches. Huge megapixel sensors, such as the 48-megapixel recently announced by Sony for its 2019 phones, and AI-powered software are making phone cameras more and more powerful.

Yet the technology capabilities of social sharing of such large, high-quality smartphone images has been lagging behind. Larger files consume more network bandwidth when uploaded, and consume more memory to store on a device. Platforms such as Facebook have traditionally compressed, resized and reformatted photos for optimal loading time on their sites.

Spectrum aims to address that problem by reducing the trade-off in image quality that results, without compromising on speed of the upload experience.


Digging Deeper:

Spectrum takes care of the steps of image uploading speed and quality for developers, making such features available without requiring developers to be image experts. The open-source software means it is available for anyone to add support for new codecs and debugs.

  • Facebook began developing Spectrum about 18 months ago, and has incorporated it into its own apps.
  • Spectrum works for both Android and iOS apps to reduce file size for faster upload time and less data usage.
  • Its technology makes it easier for app developers to control the quality of images being uploaded without additional code.
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The Bottom Line:

The release of Spectrum looks to provide a good resource to address the challenges of image upload via smartphones for app develpers.

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